9.5 C
Alba Iulia
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Export finished Maize products HH urges Government

Economy Export finished Maize products HH urges Government

Workers from the Food Reserve Agency packing maize at a shed in Choma
File: Workers from the Food Reserve Agency packing maize at a shed in Choma

I want to demonstrate how our crop marketing arrangements, especially for maize, are misguided and offer solutions to improve the situation for farmers and consumers.

To date there is no indication whether our government will set the maize floor price and whether they will buy maize and other crops at all from farmers. We are being told that the business community such as millers should move in rural areas and buy the maize crop from farmers. Now here is the problem. We are being told there was a bumper harvest last farming season and so government bought more maize than they wanted.

We all remember that a few months ago, Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda announced measures that were meant to cushion the mealie meal prices though to date the price of mealie meal is still high. One such measures was a reduction in the price of maize being bought from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) so that millers can buy at lower prices and pass on the benefits to the Zambian consumers. We believe this policy is still in place and millers can still cheaply access maize from FRA depots across the country. Now the question is why would a businessperson such as millers waste their time and resources going into the villages to buy maize from farmers when they can access the commodity cheaply from FRA depots in urban centres? It does not make any sense for one to do so especially now with an increase in fuel prices. As a result, our farmers will be stuck with their maize or forced to sell cheaply to briefcase businesspeople.

We are currently being told the country is exporting huge quantities of maize to neighbouring countries in order to clear stocks for last season. Exporting of such produce as maize grain is the problem we have been talking about because we don’t do any value addition.

Our alternative policy, if indeed we have too much maize, would have been to encourage exporting of finished maize products such as mealie meal and feedstock etc. We need to encourage milling companies to grind more maize grain for export earnings. From maize milling, which is value addition, there are also lots of other by-products such as feedstock for our animals.

In short when we export maize grain, we also export a lot of other products which in turn finds it’s way back into Zambian market as imports of our own products and in the process contribute to the Kwacha’s fall.

In a well thought out arrangement, where millers are encouraged to export maize mill at large scale, they would be forced to buy more maize either from FRA itself or from farmers in order to satisfy their export markets and generate foreign exchange for our country which would later cushion and stabilise the now free falling Kwacha.

Millers would easily exhaust the current maize stock from FRA, and would be forced to set up depots or appoint agents in rural areas who would be buying maize for them at competitive prices attractive to our farmers. In the whole chain, small scale businesses and employment opportunities will be created for our people, especially for the youths.

Does it really make any sense for us to label our citizens and even those of neighbouring countries as maize and mealie meal smugglers when all we can do is to just encourage our small and large businesses to set up well organised selling points right inside say the Kasumbalesa border in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)? Once that is done, the so called smugglers would think twice to risk their lives carrying one or two bags of mealie meal when the product is readily available right at their door steps in an organised way that we can also earn foreign exchange from reasonable taxes instead of chasing widows, orphans and poor Zambians over rental monies.

Once we mill our maize locally, we are also assured of lots of by-products such as feedstock which our small businesses keeping chickens, pigs, goats, cattle, etc can cheaply access the feed and bring the prices of these meat products low for our home consumption while keeping our foreign exchange earnings in our banks and stabilise the Kwacha.

And it’s from these foreign exchange earnings that we can easily grow our economy and create more business and job opportunities for our people, especially the youths. And it’s from these jobs that again government can earn taxes from Pay As You Earn that can be channelled into social sectors such as health and education.

All these things are heavily interconnected, for example the farmer will get a better deal because of the appetite for the maize created by the millers who also have appetite for the dollars through exporting mealie meal. And there are also manufacturers and suppliers of packing bags in this equation who would want to expand their businesses due to the huge demand for empty bags from millers. And remember this is just from one item the maize chain industry.

For the local mealie meal consumption, we should seriously consider relaxing conditions for buying bags of maize from FRA depots so that small scale millers and individuals can easily buy even one bag and take it to the local hammer mills. There are currently lots of hammer mills (vigayo) even in urban centres where our people can be taking or accessing bags of maize grain for home consumption. In fact, my interactions in markets these days shows that majority of our people are currently enjoying Nshima made from hammer mills.

___________________________

Issued by: UPND National Campaign Centre, Lusaka

27 COMMENTS

  1. HH you are just making noise we will never have a president in this country called HH.You are too petty.you don’t know how to talk about real issues that affect people.You frog (cule)we can’t vote for you.you stole a lot of money during privatisation so by voting for you again you may finish even the little that this country has.Galu iwe

    • Seriously @Kalulu,
      Whatever is the matter with you? HH has just provided a real life practical scenario of how to best utilise one of our resources and yet to jump straight to piling insult on him. Why?
      I really don’t get, what is wrong with you people?

    • Kalulu you are an “ignorant educated fellow” whose mental capacity shuts down when ever HH offers practical solutions to the solve Zambia ‘s economic woes.

      I think its bread crumbs off Lungu ‘s table making you so psychotic such that you can not think beyond your belly.

      HH and the UPND team have what it takes to steer this country in the right direction.

      UPND is a party that cares about Zambian people and HH is the man to guide Zambia to prosperity.

    • @Kalulu,
      Seriously we are all Zambians and we should stop being petty at the expense of this once great country which has now been downgraded to nothing because of the leaders we elect. What has been suggested by HH is for the benefit of every Zambian out there and not only one tribe, besides, the challenges Zambia is facing now are not only affecting one tribe but all the tribes are affected including yours and your family

    • Jealous people like @ Kalulu are very ignorant about economic issues just like there fellow pf thugs. Leave HH alone whether republican president or not he has achieved alot in his life and is my President not the drunkards.

    • You are right, HH has achieved alot for himself and not for the nation. He actually made himself rich on the backs of poor Zambians during privatisation.

      You can have him. We do not need him as Republican President. He stinks of stolen money.

    • @Kalulu we chikopo we. Which school did you go too if you un able to understand what HH is saying. The problem with you is that you see everything in your Tribal Glasses which have blinded you from seeing sense in what HH is saying.

  2. HH should tell this to his capitalistic friend, GBM. GBM failed to do what he saying when he was in government.

    EL is already implementing what HH is saying. The vigayos will be in all districts. Infact HH has just been fed with data from his informers about what EL is about to announce to appear as if it is HH who gave EL the directive. This guys is such a crook no wonder he stole our money during privatisation.

    Easier said than done. politicians will promise you heaven on earth just to win elections. This is no difference from what we are reading here.

    I take it as mere political verbatim.

    • @Yebo Nkosi HH is clean he never sold any mine lets put the record straight.Its Chiluba and Sata who were in government who approved the sales and did the negociations.HH’s accounts firm only valued the mines.You will die of bitterness and envil.Weather you like it or not we shall continue to vote for HH and this time he will not be number two but number one.Zambians are fed up of self induced load shending and hunger.Seleni namufilwa tu bombeko.Nanga Zambia Nayanyoko ,its for us all .

    • You are right. But he made deals with potential buyer by making it easier for them to buy our companies at extremely cheap prices. In other words, he undervalued them and got kickbacks. Zambia Cold Storage Board is one such company. He sold it cheaply and behind the scenes his companies bought our animals at give away prices. This explains his sudden accumulation of animals at his farms. those are our animals Sido Mark. He is a clever thief but a thief all the same.

      We have not forgotten.

  3. This is valuable information from HH to Lungu although i know such level of thinking is not available in PF. Long fingers with a huge bias on syphoning gvt money is what the PF has in abandance.
    They shared half of the euro bond money and now still want some more

  4. Ba Kalulu kwayawayafye mwe!

    Reading through HH’s advice on this issue, I dont see how feasible this could be. This model will drive mealie meal prices very high as most millers would rather export their produce their by creating an artificial shortage in Zambia. One thing to bear in mind is that there is a real shortage of maize meal all over southern and east africa apart from in Zambia and Malawi. That means our neighbours are capable of consuming all the maize produced in Zambia leaving us with nothing to eat.
    So this is the danger that will come with allowing millers to export their product. It makes sense business wise, bt its a threat to national food security

    • So if the price of mealie meal goes up, why can’t people switch to other commodities like soya, cassava, sweet potatoes, millet, rice, a number of which are even more nutritious? Years ago no one worked on computers, no emails & a lot of things that are now automated where done manually. Short sighted people like you said the coming in of computers will put people out of work but all that happened was that people learnt new skills. That is the way life works, it is called adapting, why keep eating Nshima when you can move on to other wider and more nutritious options?

  5. People like Kalulu have really brougt our beloved country to its knees. Why? Because these are the majority in PF.

  6. HH’s advice “Issued by: UPND National Campaign Centre, Lusaka” is practical and achievable with committed willingness by government to effect. Lungu has suggested milling plants in all provincial headquarters with the sole aim of bringing closer to the local people the finished product mealie meal thereby hoping to keep the prices down however there will still be costs incurred getting the maize to provincial mills. HH breaks it further to small scale level for value addition at community level with possibility of exporting starting at that level. Milling should not be government business, it is a wrong approach where government thinks it can bite for the people more than it can chew! Haters will not see light in HH’s advice but such advice must use other fora too to educate more…

  7. I like the way seasoned engineer brings in a counter argument (whether he’s right or wrong is another issue) but unfortunately this country has more of the likes of Kalulu @1, Bowman Lusambo, Kennedy Kamba, Cosmo Mumba, Moses Lungu, etc the sebana wikute fellows.
    I listened to Given Lubinda on ZNBC’s sunday interview & the guy knows zilch about the agricultural industry. Most of the time he was attacking Grevazio instead of providing answers.
    I concluded that ministries should be run by career professionals & not career politicians.
    This brings us to a cabinet outside parliament.

  8. Setting up of vigayos across the country will not reduce the price of the commodity PF caders.
    Some time is important to learn basic economics.
    What is expense is the cost of production as electricity,water,taxes are very high thus contributing to high cost.
    Moreover these government vigayos will push many small scale millers out of business contributing to more poverty levels.
    Look at the numerous shopping mails whose is benefiting apart from south Africa and many Zambians are now out of the business.PF no plan for this

  9. it is laughable that the corruption prone PF kaponya supporters on this blog have nothing on HH except ”privatisation…privatisation…privatisation…” they cant offer coherent counter arguments to the suggestions HH provides, cant even debate just like their leaders in GRZ, only thinking of borrowing more manee so as to steal. Who can blame them when they have ministers like Kambwili who only thinks of begging when he sees a white man.

    • You also cannot respond to the fact the HH enriched himself at the expense of Zambians during the privatisation time. This the reality. What HH is proposing is only an idea. the reality is that he is a crook. that is what we know. No matter what you say will erase this fact the HH is a crook. HH himself is at pains to clear himself. He got our animals from Cold Storage Board. You have no moral right to call other names when your leader is guilty of moral dishonesty.

    • @ 10.1 Yebo Nkhosi
      ”…Your leader guilty on moral grounds..” ?? your sata, father of PF [MHSRIP] was the doorman when FJT was raping Zambians coffers, he event tried to spear head the 3rd term debate and you pipo did not mention morals, so judging other political leaders on morality is the last thing that a PF supporter can do.
      HH was not alone on Privatisation and was acting under instructions, more the 20 yrs ago and as far as we are aware has not been charged with any wrong doing. Every bankrupt country goes through the sale of parastatals, the latest being Greece, you cant blame the guys doing the selling.
      I ask again more than 20 yrs later, is that all you chaps have on HH ?? Just debate issues at hand affecting the country or tell us why HH is wrong instead of living in…

    • Sata is not Lungu. Yes HH was contracted to sell those parastals but he very cleverly enriched himself in the process. By him not being prosecuted does not mean that bhe is clean. Some criminals go free just because collaborating evidence is missing, but they still remain criminals. They actually committed crimes.

      HH is not a politician. He too much of a businessman than a politician. he is failing to offload his vision in clear layman’s terms. He always want to appear very educated and rich. Zambians are not interested in person gains, especially when they are not honestly gained.

      HH also agreed to be appointed as UPND leader on tribal or regional basis. This is another moral wrong which has not brought all this tribal talk about UPND. HH does not deny this. He is not a national…

    • moral grounds…? can a PF supporter of a party swimming in corruption scandals mention morality ? there is so much corruption allegation against PF that it seems normal, accountability has been consigned to the toilet…no on in this PF GRZ is accountable, be it corruption, dereliction of duties to an extent that the country suffers economically.
      to be fare, only recently have we seen EL taking notice of issues, including issues highlighted by online media. But he still has a long way to go especially addressing allegations of corruption.

  10. Wished HH used the word “processed” instead of the word “finished”….. just lighting up the tense atmosphere from both sides of the coin from the earlier bloggers on this subject.

    • @Careless Whisper

      Relax , its called semantics! Whether “finished” or “processed” is not the issue here. The big idea is that Zambia should create industry to add value to products so that our youth gain employment and Zambia gains more from exports than it gains from exporting raw materials.

      Do you get it mate?

  11. @wanzelu I am with you and appreciate HH’ s reasons. Just wanted to lightened. Up the situation. The two words are very interchangeable and I usually use them interchangeably as as an Engineer. Cheers and enjoy the mischief from my careless whispering.

  12. Well done UPND, well articulated and written in plain English for easy understanding. Value addition is really what creates jobs, NOT selling of raw materials. No well meaning and knowledgeable functioning adult with jobless relatives can oppose that. The same goes for our Copper.

Comments are closed.

- Advertisement -
Loading...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

LCC beset by high incidences of damage and theft to the newly installed solar traffic light poles

Lusaka City Council (LCC) has bemoaned the high incidences of damage and theft to the newly installed solar traffic...

Winning hearts, one Chitenge at a time

https://youtu.be/IwkBNisY3BI

Mbombo Laments Nkana Draw at Arrows

Nkana striker Idris Mbombo laments Saturday’s away draw at Red Arrows that saw them fail to assume poll position on the penultimate day of...

72 per cent of Zambian businesses are unable to raise funds due to COVID-19, FSD Zambia

A survey on the financial impact of COVID-19 on SMEs conducted by the Zambia Financial Sector Deepening and BFA Global show that Zambian businesses...

WEEKEND SCORECARD: Forest Stay Positive Despite League Title Setback

Forest Rangers coach Tennant Chilumba says they have a very big say in the direction of 2019/2020 league title in Thursday’s final round decider...

More Articles In This Category