Businessmen in Chipata and surrounding areas have stopped buying products from farmers saying they are waiting for the rebasing of the Kwacha.
The move has left peasant farmers stranded with their bags of farm products.
The businessmen, mostly of Asian origin are withholding their money citing uncertainty that will be caused when the PF rebases the local currency.
The businessmen have been telling the small-scale farmers that they can’t buy their produce because they don’t know what value the rebased Kwacha will have and therefore fear to lose.
They are telling farmers that they should take their produce to them after the Kwacha has been rebased and value known and proved practically.
But this has left thousands of peasant farmers who depend on the established big businesses stranded.
With Food Reserve Agency offering low prices and paying late, farmers have been over the years selling to local businessmen.
The local businessmen in turn export these products or sale them to secondary industries in Lusaka at a higher profit.
Among the products being returned or packed in Chipata are Maize, Soya beans, cowpeas, sunflower and ground nuts.
Cotton farmers are not very affected as they have out growers’ schemes.