Farmers are reportedly falling prey to cunning or parasitic middlemen who are hijacking their produce and dictating prices, the Daily News reports. The matter came to light last frinday during the unveiling of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Sector Survey organised by The Financial Gazette in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society when UZ Senior Lecturer Judith Mutambara said:
I have a very touching experience with farmers in Norton who told me that they are doing horticulture and they said they were doing very well. They, however, said their problem is that they cannot take their produce to town because middlemen hijack the produce and dictate prices.
This seemed to be a problem of the farmer, but it is a problem of policy. We have the Ministry of Agriculture and the police. I fail to understand why we cannot send the police to Mbare market to ensure that farmers are able to sell their produce without the interference of third parties.
Mutambara called on the government to review policies in terms of marketing so that hard working Zimbabweans do not fall prey of such parasitic individuals and said:
When farmers get to the market, their products are hijacked by middle men who dictate the price. These are parasitic actors trying to make big margins from people that have sweated and is that fair? It’s a disincentive, you won’t see a future in production. So we also need to strengthen our policies in
terms of marketing.
About 70% of Zimbabweans survive on farming or on activities related to farming.
More: Daily News