By CHATULA KANGALI –
FARMERS have cried foul on the drastic fall of the prices of soya beans by more than 100 percent during this year’s maize marketing season.
A kilograme of soya beans that was previously fetching for K4.5 is this year selling between K1.40 to K1.80 the same quantity.
Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Jervis Zimba said in an interview that the price of soya had this year fallen by more than 100 percent.
Mr Zimba attributed the fall in the prices of the crop to less appetite by oil seed crushers in buying the crop which is the major raw material in the manufacturing of edible oils.
He said the oil seed crushers had this year not bought as much soya beans because of enough which had remained unsold.
“The price of soya beans this years is low, a 50 kilogram is fetching about K80 from around K220 in the last farming season, the buyers of the crop, the oil seed crushers are not buying because some of the material they procured last year is still unused,” he said.
The ZNFU chief said the price of soya beans was lower than the price of the import and the production cost of the crop.
He said the local edible on the local market was not competing with imported cheap cooking oil that had flooded the market.
Mr Zimba said some individuals were still importing and smuggling cooking oil into the country hence making local compete unfavorably.
He further urged Government to ban the importation of edible oil which had led to huge unsold quantities of locally processed edible oils.
He said Government should put in place measures to curb the smuggling of cooking oil into the country.
Mr Zimba said the importation and smuggling of edible oil in the country had adversely affected the growth of the soya beans subsector.