Small holder farmers in various parts of Mkushi district have complained of unfair dealings by some private buyers of maize crop.
Speaking for the Farmers, Veston Lukona of Chibefwe agric camp said that some farmers have complained of being given a raw deal by briefcase maize buyers.
Mr Lukona elaborated that in such dealings, maize buyers give money to farmers between December and January with conditions that compel the farmer to pay back, by giving up their entire harvest.
He described such dealings as exploitative, adding that the farmers gain less than their gross expenditure on crop production, saying that buyers take advantage as money is hard to come by during those months.
“Apart from being less than the cost of production, the money or clothes given by these maize buyers is based on calculations that are well below the prevailing floor price for maize”, he added.
Mr Lukona suggested the need for local authorities to consider enacting a by-law that will compel maize dealers of any scale to register their presence with the local authorities.
He said that such a move is relevant as it would make it easier for District Administration to arbitrate the cases involving unfair dealings between famers and buyers.
He maintained that such a measure could be applicable to locally based buyers as well as those who come from outside Mkushi.-ZANIS