Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda speaking during the official opening of the first joint Pan-African Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference currently being held at AVANI Victoria Falls Hotel. Picture by Jeffrey Oliver
Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda speaking during the official
opening of the first joint Pan-African Grain Legume and World Cowpea
Conference currently being held at AVANI Victoria Falls Hotel. Picture
by Jeffrey Oliver

GOVERNMENT says millers’ contracts with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will only go up to May this year to enable them purchase maize directly from farmers.
Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda said the FRA would not renew contracts of any of the millers as they were expected to start purchasing maize directly from the farmers.

Speaking during the commissioning of the US$2 million Jambo Milling plant in Ndola on Thursday, Mr Lubinda said Government did not intend to regulate the milling industry, just like any other business, hence the need for the millers not to depend on the FRA.

“Government wants you to operate without interference. Government must not continue to deliver maize to milling companies and as millers you should not expect that you will get raw material from Government.

“The moment you start relying on FRA for inputs, you are asking us to regulate you. If you ask FRA to buy maize and sell to you, be ready for Government to tell you the price at which to sell mealie-meal and that’s not how we want to run this economy,” he said.

Mr Lubinda said Government had provided inputs for farmers to produce maize and that it was the duty of the millers to buy the grain from the farmers.

“My advice to you as Jambo Milling is that because of the fact that Zambian maize is highly sought after in the region, farmers are not going to be given a raw deal.

“They know their maize can fetch high prices and as a milling company you will do well to employ agriculturalists who will support farmers, give inputs to farmers and go into contract farming with them so that they know that maize being produced is committed,” he said.

Mr Lubinda said the price of mealie-meal would not be adjusted upwards, but that Government would work hard to ensure that the price of the commodity was reduced.

“Government is working extremely hard to ensure the prices of mealie-meal go down. We are encouraging millers to be aware that the industry is highly sensitive.

“As you pursue your investment be aware and cautious that any unnecessary movement in the prices shall attract political ramification,” he said.

Jambo Milling managing director Axmed Shile said the firm had invested almost $2 million in setting up the milling plant and employed over 100 people in response to Government’s emphasis on job creation.

In a speech read on his behalf by company board member Carringtone Mabando, Mr Shile said the company’s primary objective was to satisfy the mealie-meal market in Ndola before moving to other towns.

“Certainly, Jambo Milling has an obligation to make positive contributions towards improving the living standards of the people.

“Our deliberate focus as we conduct our business is on attending to the needs of the local market in Ndola,” he said.

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50 COMMENTS

  1. Instead of just saying that Govt is not able to buy maize becuase of no money. Now the millers will buy at small rates and our farmer will lose. The purpose of govt using FRA to buy maize was to buy from farmers at a higher price than that of briefcase businessmen & women e.g the millers themselves are briefcase type.
    So now the millar can sale at their price depending on the market forces because they will argue that maize was bought at market prices unlike when bought from FRA, the price is fixed and Govt is able to check how much the millers should sale at.

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    • There you go!! More MEALIE MEAL PRICE INCREASES!! Just to starve everyone just before elections!!
      It is an easy way for blaming farmers & Millers for the price increases!! With the looming shortage, after exporting all our reserves, PamaFi will say Farmers & Millers are trying to sabotage the incumbent Govt just before elections!!

      Vote wisely 11/8/2016!! Vote Zambia Forward!!

      #chagwamustfall!!

      Abantu baya!! PamaFi ya shala!!

      I thank you!!

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    • HH was right. The government has run out of maize.
      If PF government had so much maize in stock as they claim, why not off-load on market? Are they going to continue exporting, leaving Jambo milling a white elephant?

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    • The minister HASN’T said FRA will NOT buy maize from farmers but that FRA will NOT supply to millers. Miller’s will compete with FRA buy from farmers. Government has milling plants so FRA IS buying from our farmers and Miller’s should just brass themselves to sources THEIR raw materials coz they are abusing masses from cheaply supplied maize to them.

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  2. Lubinda forget the damned millers .In 2011 your disastrous PF government came in and stopped supplying Zambia with bumper harvests due to myopic leadership.

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  3. Mr Inconsistent as usual mumble-jumble. That’s why even the MD or the board chairman didn’t see reason to be with him.

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  4. Iwe Lubinda, where is dry maize going to come from in May? We all know that Maize buying starts after June when harvest has been done, although harvest finishes close to August.

    This announcement is meant to punish maize farmers who will now be left at the greed of traders. Whilst this is an opportunity to take in huge profits by traders and Miller’s, we should be sympathetic to the many vulnerable and broke small-scale farmers.

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    • THE TRUTH THAT LUBINDA SHOULD BE TELLING THE NATION IS THAT FRA WILL HAVE NO MAIZE COME MAY DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN SUPPLYING OUR NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES.

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  5. That’s it, if you can’t read in between the lines then you have chosen to be blind or maybe you are damn blind by default. This minister has played with people’s stomachs. Inconsistency is key with these PF minions, it seems.

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  6. God have mercy on Mr. Bwalya, Given and all those support this failed leadership. Mr. Bwalya, for you don’t even deserve the title of Fr., who even gave you that title. The lord fought for the poor and its clear that the people you are supporting have turned against the poor.

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  7. I earnestly ask.UPND to.look at youth unemployment. The sure way to address this is by altering the age criteria of being employed in jobs funded by tax payers.

    I suggest immediate capping years served in pubic service and parastatal organisations to 55 years of age, reduce voluntary years of retirement to 45 years and make normal retirement at 50 years.

    This will guarantee absorption of our youths into formal employment whilst those.who would have worked for st least 25 years will use their savings and experience to continue in self employment. Youths wake up and claim your rights to decent jobs.

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    • VERY TRUE, LET US PAVE WAY FOR OUR CHILDREN TO GET EMPLOYED. ALSO IT WOULD BE GOOD IF ALL CLOSED FACTORIES WERE TO OPERATE AGAIN TO OFFER THE YOUTH JOBS AND MANUFACTURING OF OUR OWN GOODS BOTH FOR LOCAL AND OUTSIDE MARKETS.

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  8. I haven’t read anywhere in the article were it says govt through fra will stop buying grains from farmers. Fra will continue buying from farmers but won’t be supplying to millers. Fra will concentrate on solar mills and make sure they produce enough mealie meal cheaply.

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    • …… Fra will concentrate on solar mills and make sure they produce enough mealie meal cheaply…

      Who told you?

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    • DON’T PUT WORDS IN LUBINDA’S MOUTH. THE PF GOVERNMENT IS BROKE, THEY WILL HAVE NO CAPACITY TO BUY MAIZE. THE MESSAGE FROM LUBINDA IS LOUD AND CLEAR. THIS WILL CERTAINLY WORK AGAINST THE PF GOVERNMENT.

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    • YOU MUST BE DULL DONT YOU KNOW THAT ONCE PF STOPS SUPPLYING MILLERS WITH MAIZE, MILLERS WILL BY FROM FARMERS AND SALE AT A HIGHER PRICE KILLING OUR PIPO IS IT THAT HARD FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND

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    • BA PF muleshala muli mwamoneni this August Elections.rightly put by Kambwili.
      Truth on this matter FRA maize stocks will be completely dry by May.

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  9. MY ONLY WORRY IS THAT HON. LUBINDA MAY HAVE NOT DONE A THOROUGH BACKGROUND CHECK AND BEFORE THE YEAR ENDS HE WILL BACK TRACK ON THESE SAME WORDS. WE HAVE LITTLE CONFIDENCE IN OUR LEADERS NOW.

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  10. Finally Lubinsa is indirectly admitting that FRA won’t have maize stocks to sell to millers by May. The message is clear now

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  11. Mr Lubinda and his PF govt have no idea in growing maize and farming in general. Maize for this year will only have acceptable moisture content suitable for milling after mid august. What happens in between? Just say its the outgoing PF strategy to try and reserve a few bags remaining in FRA only to offload it in july, but then you have shot yourself in the leg.

    VIVA FLIGHT 2016.

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  12. Is Hon. Lubinda not being inconsistent with his statements? Who is now creating panicky in the country? Is it HH or Lubinda himself? Was HH then telling the International and home community lies when he said whatever he said about the maize situation in Zambia? Lubinda, denial, threats, deceit and arrogance won’t help you and your PF Party! You are, in fact annoying Zambians the more!

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  13. Zayelo,muzungu belela..you are as short on ideas as your height.Go and run namakau iwe

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  14. THATS IS THE WAY HON GIVEN BUT A PHASED APPROACH WITH 30% GOVERNMENT STRATERGIC RESERVE

    TO PROMOTE DIVERSIFICATION AND AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SETUP ALL FULLY FLAGED COMMERCIAL FARMERS AND SEMI COMMERCIAL CULFELA BUT DEVELOPMENT TO NATURE IN A PHASED APPROACH TO ENSURE SUSTAINABILITY

    YOU WILL SEE MARKETS REGULATE TO ALLOCATE EFFECTIVELY IN THE MOST REFLECTIVE PRICE

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  15. In all the projections and counter-projections, one factor has not been considered by govt or its detractors. With late planting this year, what happens if rains cut-off prematurely as is currently being forecast ?

    The million dollar question : last years base price for maize was K75. Is govt expecting to get any maize at this price in 2016 ? Let the mealie meal price rebase accordingly !!

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  16. Maize from farmers will be ready only after August. So from May to August where will the millers buy maize from?

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  17. There must be sensitive’s in the Hectares planted projected to yields in harvest relating that to local consumption for various uses like brew piggery exports balancing the acceptable cover in those RESERVE rations with imports in the short term forecasting the demand and supply of various grains appropriately

    The thinking by Hon Lindunda is correct but can only be complemented with a well function FUTURE OR FORWARD marketing PLAT form Supporting the COMMODITY markets in future and forward contracts will effectively address all these concerns about pricing and delivery

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  18. The maize and copper syndromes are killing the future prospects of Zambia. There is need to make a 360 degrees turn from over relying on these two commodities. A quick win on food security is to diversify our needs away from maize consumption. Other regions of world including Africa have a variety of dishes which we can learn a lesson or two. The weather pattern has drastically changed and is adversely affecting the planning and production of maize. The fact is that old habits die had, hence the need to start telling the young ones that maize just one crop of the many food stuffs. We need sustainable food security.

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  19. Its only maize but always do a What Ifs analysis flexing the for agricultural period for many years say 2016/17 to 2020/2021 in food security for Planted Acres against Harvested Acres paying particular attention to the change in yields up and down as forecasted
    Then reconcile beginning Stocks held in strategic reserves to productive such as for beer and domestic Imports looking at the total Supply in arriving at the Stocks/Use Ratio to cover those horizons forecast to 2020/2021 making Zambia food secure and diversified to add to RED METAL in MUKUBA
    Thanks Iwe David C Keith Mwamba

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  20. He states that govt does not want to interfer yet the selfsame empty tins are setting up Chinese Solar hammermills all over the country. What is he going to do when millers that squeezing farmers? No consistency.

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  21. OFCOURSE GOVT WILL BE BUYING MAIZE FROM FARMERS BUT TELL ME ONE THING…. IT MEANS MILLERS WILL BE BUYING MORE MAIZE THAN FARMERS BECAUSE THEY BUY AT A HIGH PRICE THAN THAT OF FRA. IT MEANS FRA WILL NOT BE HAVING ENOUGH MAIZE UNLESS THEY ARE WILLING TO COMPETE WITH MILLERS ON THE MAIZE PRICES, SOMETHING FRA HAS NEVER WANTED. ON THE OTHER END MR GIVEN YOU ARE JUST ABOUT TO COMMISSION ONE MILLING (JAMBO) AND DONT TELL ME IT WILL BE ABLE TO CARTER FOR THE WHOLE NATION. EVEN IF GOVT BOUGHT ALL THE MAIZE IN THE WORLD IT WONT PRODUCE ENOUGH PER DAY OR EVEN PER MONTH. IN ADDITON TO THAT THER ARE UNPLANNED FRO BREAK DOWNS WHICH MEANS WHEN YOU STOP MILLING BECAUSE OF A BREAK DOWN THEN PEOPLE WILL STARVE. LETS STOP BEING NAIVE BUT FIX THIS PROBLEM ONCE AND FOR ALL. SUCH ATTITUDE IS NOT HEALTHY FOR…

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  22. STOP THE BLAME GAME . It is counter productive. Instead of adding on on Lubindas wanting to find solutions, we are instead playing a blame game. It shall be the same, NO angel shall change the economy in one day but bit by bit and get there.

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  23. Watch the price of maize meal sky rocket to market demand prices. Then PF will engage one of the many reverse gears.

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  24. …I don’t like people who take citizens for granted….reading between lines, Lubinda is hiding something sinister in his outburst…..its just that I cannot figure it out yet….
    1)…may be govt wont be in a position to buy of farmers then(are broke) and think FRA has enough stock to supply their solar mills..
    2)…indirect drop maize price because farmers will prefer cash to promissory notes FRA give them…briefcase guys would just flash cash and farmers will take even at K10 less..
    3)…will ‘starve’ private millers because FRA has already bought 2014/2015 season….2015/2016 season out put will only be ready for sell in July/August for grain moisture content to come down..
    4)…encouraging smuggling of maize…..

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  25. In addition to anticipated maize meal price increases, this is nothing other than camouflage for maize shortages. Lubinda will just say there is no maize shortage but the problem is between millers and farmers who can not agree on market prices….vola..there you go.
    Who ever win the upcoming elections, UPND, MMD, whatever, be prepared for the mess…

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  26. Allow millers to buy maize from farmers, expect millers to hike prices out of government control. Ordinary Zambians will be hurt and pay for high price of maize meal. Simple economics of supply and demand but those with means of production maximise income by manipulating a factor.
    Result: Chagwa must fall and PF goes in oblivion and boat sunk.
    This is what it means, PF flip-flop, chipante pante, visionless and chimbwi without plan.

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  27. UPND is involved in sabotage smuggling maize and mealie meal to congo and malawi to decampaign PF.They are the cause of these shortages.Do not give them your vote in August.

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  28. Isn’t this a contradiction? On the one hand he says “Government wants you to operate without interference”, on the other he says, “As you purse your investments, be aware and cautious that any unnecessary movement in prices shall attract political ramification”. Free market and control at the same time?

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  29. Comment: HH said it , who is now causing panic about maize shortage , even after assuring us that there is enough maize in stock. izamunyokola njala wina mukomboni this year.

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  30. Foolish thinking, where on earth is retirement 45! Your utopian ideas will take you no where.

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  31. Lubinda is such a disappointment. I thought he was able to perform politically but alas! This announcement will further push the price of mealie meal up. Lubinda has not come up with any agricultural policies. I hope that things won’t get any worse because people are suffering!

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  32. Ba Hon. Last Sunday on your Dead NBC you so much endeavored to assure the nation that we had enough maize stock in Fra facilities up until August this year and tried so hard to false fully accuse ghosts of creating panic in the country. Now can you tell the nation where you are going to take the other stock if you won’t supply millers beyond may amidst mealie meal shortage while you damn well know that the 10 zcf solar milling plants don’t have the capacity to supply the country with the required quantity for local consumption. You may lie and confuse other people but you can’t lie and confuse everyone. We know what is going on, you have no strategy on this one hence down playing eminent food shortages in the nation by shifting blame on innocent hh who is not even close to your…

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  33. Guys,
    The solution is to allow we expats living abroad, with our savings, to come to Zambia and start food production.
    I have a plan to keep pigs and chicken in Kafubu Block, Luanshya.
    I will also embark on maize and vegetable cultivation.
    My produce will be sold in my farm-outlet in the second class trading area.
    Open days will be held to transfer knowledge to the local people.
    The Zambian Government is not giving me the greenlight to start the venture.
    If approved, I can be in the country with my Zambian wife and our 3 sons within 2 months.
    The government needs to rethink their policy.

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