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ZIGCLAP suddened by the drop in maize production output

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The Zambian Institute of Governance and Civil Liberties Advocacy Platform– ZIGCLAP is deeply concerned with the drop in maize production by such a huge margin of 25 percent.

ZIGCLAP acknowledges the negative impact of floods and droughts in some parts of the country on the overall maize crop production.

Nonetheless the major contributing factor in the drop of maize output production in the country was the chaotic, segregated input distribution mode adopted by the New dawn administration. Some regions were highly favored disadvantaging regions with stable rainfall patterns and high fertile soils of Luapula, Muchinga, Northern and selected parts of central provinces. Information on the ground revealed that some parts of the country only received fertilizer way after the planting window period, which left farmers in an awkward situation and had nothing to do with the inputs.

Some farmers with the view of being heard took it to social media to complain on the unprecedented late input distribution but their complaints were not heard.

Although, the country still has back up stocks of maize from the previous production seasons, our concern remains as the government has openly stated it’s intentions of not closing the borders for maize and mealie meal exports to neighboring countries.

The short fall in maize production will negatively impact on the livestock subsectors of pork and poultry production.

We are saddened more so that these sectors main players are the small and medium scale farmers with no alternative source of survival.

ZIGCLAP therefore urges government to quickly review it’s policy on maize and mealie meal exports before the country is hit with high mealie meal and animal feed prices as well as maize shortages.

Eastern province plays a critical role in the livestock subsector production as it is the only sole reliable source of meal number three, which is the main maize byproduct component in animal feed production.

ZIGCLAP therefore, further urges government to ensure it seals all smuggling loopholes.

Government must understand that it takes more than one season of high out put to create sufficient stocks that insulate national food security.

Francis Chipili

Business and Political Analyst

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