Govt lifts mealie meal export ban

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The Ministry of Agriculture has with immediate effect lifted the ban on the export of mealie meal.

In a statement made available to ZANIS today, Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo said this is to ensure a smooth flow of exports of mealie meal.

Katambo said the ministry will apply a regulated export regime that they have been using to facilitate maize seed exports through the Eastern and Southern African region and so far worked well.

He however said it should be noted that millers who have accessed the government subsidized maize from the FRA, will not be allowed to get import permits for mealie meal.

Katambo further warned that state security agencies will also remain on alert in strategic cross-border points to ensure that illegal exports are kept in check.

He said this decision was arrived at in close consultations by the Ministry of Agriculture with key stakeholders that included the Grain Traders Association (GTAZ), The Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ), The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), Zambia Agricultural Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE) as well as the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Katambo said having established that the country currently has in excess of 700,000 metric tonnes of maize grain stocks, government is convinced that the country is food secure and that mealie meal prices will remain fairly stable.

He has urged farmers, millers and grain traders to take advantage of this market window and close deals with importers in close border markets, particularly those from Congo DR.

Katambo explained that from the consultation that government has been having with stakeholders in the agriculture industry, it has become very clear that as a country, there is need to develop a predictable and transparent agricultural commodity marketing system.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31