More calls to lift maize export ban
The Coalition of Women Farmers (Cowfa)—with funding from Action Aid’s Enhancing Community Resilience Programme (ECRP)—has urged the government to lift the ban on maize exports.
Speaking on behalf of women farmers, Cowfa Executive Director, Ellen Matupi, said women farmers face challenges when they want to sell maize and other farm produce because of the ban coupled with poor prices on the local market.
“Most people or local traders are not willing to buy from women because they prefer vendors, who offer cheap prices. This affects the profitability of our farming business when we want to sell maize. We cannot make ends meet through this situation and this is why the removal of the export ban is vital,” she said.
Matupi added that as women, they have now agreed to lobby government through Action Aid and Ministry of Agriculture to review maize prices offered by the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc).
“We are failing to sell our produce because of the poor prices being offered at Admarc depots and other local markets. If we had the chance to sell abroad, it could have been better,” Matupi said.
ActionAid Regional Director for the South, Chikondi Chabvuta-Mkawa, said that the organisation will continue to back calls for government to provide a conducive market environment for women in the country.
“Through such meetings with women farmers, we hope we can lobby government to understand that most farmers are women and hence the need for good markets and also open other markets internationally,” she said.
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