Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda says Zambia will not resort to Maize imports this year because the country has enough stocks of the staple food.
But Mr Lubinda’s statement contradicts President Edgar Lungu who recently revealed in Chipata that Government is working on modalities of importing Maize from Brazil in order to meet the shortfall.
Addressing a media briefing on state of the country’s food and agriculture sector at Government Complex, Mr Lubinda said Zambia still has 1.3 million metric tons of Maize in its strategic reserves.
Mr Lubinda said the stocks are enough to last until the next harvest expected in August this year.
He also assured that no Zambian will starve as the Government is doing everything possible to make the staple food available to all.
The Agriculture Minister said despite the poor rainfall recorded so far, Zambia still has enough maize stocks to last until the 2016/2017 harvest.
He said by 19th January 2016, the country had 1.3 million metric tons of Maize being held at the FRA and the Grain Traders Association and the Zambia National Farmers Union.
Mr Lubinda also revealed that the Food Reserve Agency has signed contracts with 91 milling companies and is releasing 100,000 metric tons of Maize per month to keep the prices of mealie meal affordable.
He warned that anyone found smuggling Maize out of Zambia will be prosecuted and blacklisted.
Mr Lubinda has since implored law enforcement agencies to act sternly against all illegal Maize exports.