Our 2019-2020 maize crop projection was not as this but it has come to this so far because of mainly two factors; high cost of production (unaffordable farming inputs including non availability and the unfavourable rainfall conditions).
If the cost of producing crops (maize) can be lowered, then more peasant farmers would grow not only for their home consumption but also for selling so that they could earn money for procuring more inputs including sorting out their home challenges and this would in turn see a reduction in the prices of mealie meal.
However, the high cost of maize production just like high cost of doing any other business has effects on the end user of the product and that includes higher prices.
Out of maize crop, comes maize bran which is food for livestock including poultry and if well enhanced this area can also offer jobs.
The more people plant maize at very affordable costs (fertiliser), the lower the cost of both mealie meal and maize bran (livestock and poultry feed) as issues of elasticity and marginal propensity also come into play.
Maize crop production also deals directly with the three factors of production;
1. Capital: (one must have some money to buy inputs and last season scarce fertiliser was costing us between K400 to K500 per 50kg and this has not changed to date, in fact it may escalate further and hamper the maize production for the 2020-2021 farming season unless viable measures are put in place.
2. Land: To farm, you need a piece of land which has to be secured through buying or renting and that is a cost. Perhaps in the near future, owning land must be made simple not only for production purposes but also as the only God given empowerment to his people.
3. Labour: This is another area in maize crop production that needs attention because without managing the crop, one can actually produce nothing if not only stalks and lose out nearly all the money they had injected into their project.
While harvesting at our farm yesterday (Sunday), We remained considerate of the fact that we must secure home consumption first but we are also alive to the fact that we must eat less but invest more and that calls for us to sell part of the produce at a reasonable price which should at least equals the cost of production and then procure more farming inputs hopefully at affordable prices this time around.
When we eat less (cut unnecessary spending) but invest more, we get assurance that our tomorrow is secured through maize production.
Farming is a serious business and capable of employing more and more people but factors of production fall in play and one needs patience to value its benefits.
In farming, just like any other field, there is room for improvement and we are optimistic of doing better than this in the coming farming seasons.