Zambian smallholder farmers who invested in soya bean farming against a background of price volatility now find themselves smiling all the way to the bank as the price keeps climbing.
The price of the commodity is marching towards the K3 500/ton, on track for the best performance since 2015, with experts predicting a bright outlook for the industry in the first quarter of 2018.
According to the Zambian Agricultural Commodities Exchange (ZAMACE), the price of soya beans was hovering above K3 100/ton by the end of November 2017.
This year, Zambia had seen an increase of 351 416 tons of soya beans from last year’s 267 490 tons. However, the market had crashed from last season’s K4 400/ton to as low as K1 400/ton.
The recovery of the commodity was attributed to improving global growth as exports boomed, lifting earnings of local smallholder farmers who had faced a tumultuous marketing season as maize price, too, had drastically dropped.
According to industry experts, much of the current positive impact was expected to extend into 2018.
“We had faced enormous problems from the drop in prices of soya beans and maize, but the rise in the price of soya beans, at least, from what I can see, is something we are happy about,” said Spencer Bwalya, a smallholder farmer.