VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina has directed the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to handle the ongoing sale of maize with caution and to ensure that strategic reserves are not diminished.
The Vice-President has also directed the stock monitoring committee to meet regularly to provide updates on the levels of food stocks in the country.
Mrs Wina said this at a press briefing yesterday on the food security in light of poor rainfall in some parts of the country this season.
“Because of prolonged dry spells mostly in the southern half of the country being most affected, maize fields have wilted due to severe moisture deficit,” Mrs Wina said.
She, however, assured that Government is fully aware of the prevailing situation and that she chaired an emergency meeting on Wednesday for selected Government ministries and institutions.
The Vice-President said an indepth assessment is being undertaken in 48 districts to determine the impact of dry spells experienced during the rainy season.
She said the meeting discussed the implications of the situation at hand and the measures being undertaken in the short to medium term while awaiting the results from the in-depth assessment.
“As an interim measure whilst awaiting the results of the 2015 national assessment, food assistance of 50 metric tonnes has been provided to each of the severely affected districts which are mostly in Western and North-Western Provinces,” Mrs Wina said.
She said Government is doing everything possible to mitigate the impacts of the prolonged dry spells.
Mrs Wina also called on opposition political parties, non-governmental organisations, religious leaders and other stakeholders to work with Government in ensuring food security.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President Steven Kampyongo said in an interview that it is not only Zambia affected by drought.
Mr Kampyongo said that this is not a Zambian problem but a regional one.