GOVERNMENT has cautioned farmers particularly those in areas recently hit by dry spells against offloading all their new maize stock to unscrupulous buyers.
Some officers in the Ministry of Agriculture were currently carrying out a national crop focus survey to ascertain crop yields and needy areas of relief food.
Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President Stephen Kampyongo urged farmers to be patient and desist from selling their maize stock to traders who would exploit them.
He was speaking in an interview in reaction to some farmers in parts of Southern Province such as Chief Chikanta’s area in Kalomo who had already started selling this year’s maize yields.
“It’s important for farmers to consider reserving adequate maize instead of rushing to sale all new maize stock especially in those areas where there were dry-spells,” he said.
He said, though the Government was ready to distribute relief food to needy areas, it was important for people to be responsible and secure sufficient maize for consumption.
Mr Kampyongo said that it would be irresponsible for some people to offload their maize and wait for relief food from the Government.
Some parts of Zambia were expected to be hit by hunger after experiencing crop failure due to the dry spells as recently revealed by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).
The country was expected in the next few weeks to have food shortage which would leave millions of Zambians in need of food relief.
The DMMU has since prepared itself for relief food distribution mainly in Western, Southern and parts of Central provinces.