By David Kapoma
I note with concern that politicians and other stakeholders have continued politicalizing the anticipated importation of maize grain from South America with misleading statements.
It is sad that stakeholders especially politicians are accusing government officials and the president of issuing contradicting statements over the capacity of maize in the country despite all of them assuring the nation that we have enough maize in the reserves to last until the next harvesting season.
It is important for the citizens to realise that the president and his ministers are all saying the one thing that the country has enough grain and no Zambian will go hungry. The citizens need to understand that the anticipated importation does not factor in the maize that is yet to be harvested for the current farming season.
In as much as it is true that action is needed to address the 200,000 metric tonnes deficit, it is gratifying that government has assured the nation that the country has enough stock in the reserves to last until the next harvest season meaning that as we harvest in the next season the country may have enough grain and may not need to import the grain as anticipated.
Just like any Zambian, the stakeholders must concentrate on providing solutions to the problem rather than criticising even when it is not necessary. All stakeholders must show genuine concern and avoid misleading the nation with negative statements that have the potential of causing panic among the citizens.
Going forward I want to urge the government to seriously consider investing in irrigation farming and empower small scale farmer with equipment to enable them engage in irrigation farming in order for them to effectively contribute to mitigating the impact of climate change.
Finally I want to remind politicians and indeed other stakeholders that we all have a duty to disseminate the right information to the citizens and avoid alarming the nation with untruthful statements. The politicians especially those in the opposition must show leadership during a time like this and provide solutions to the current administration rather than cerebrating about the anticipated food shortage.