Minister of Agriculture Dora Silaya(r)with Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture Julius Shawa and Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute Chance Kabaghe during the press briefing on the uplifting of Maize burn in Zambia at Government Complex in Lusaka
Minister of Agriculture Dora Silaya(r)with Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture Julius Shawa and Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute Chance Kabaghe during the press briefing on the uplifting of Maize burn in Zambia at Government Complex in Lusaka

The Grain Traders Association of Zambia has welcomed the lifting of the ban on export of maize to other countries by the government.

Association Executive Director Chambuleni Simwinga tells QTV News that in as much as the association has welcomed the lifting of the ban, the market will be difficult for most grain traders.

Mr. Simwinga says the ban had in some ways messed up with the buyers of the Zambian grain and that it will be tricky to find the market now.

He said that it was clear that the buyers of the Zambian maize have lost trust and confidence in the Zambian market and have probably identified other markets within the region.

This week Ms Siliya announced that Zambia had recorded another maize bumper harvest projected to increase from last season’s 2.8 million metric tonnes to 3.6 million metric tonnes for the 2016-2017 season. Minister of Agriculture has also announced the lifting of the export ban of maize and maize products.

Ms Siliya said that Zambia will produce 3,606,549 metric tonnes of the staple food this season, an increase by 733,491 metric tonnes from last season’s 2,873,052 metric tonnes.

She said this in Lusaka during a media briefing on the crop forecasting survey for the 2016/2017 season and the food balance status for the 2017/2018 marketing season.

Ms Siliya said the national average yield rate for maize has increased slightly from 2.10 metric tonnes per hectare last season to 2.19 metric tonnes this season.

“As already stated, total maize production in the 2016/2017 season has been estimated to be 3,606,549 metric tonnes. The country’s maize carry-over stock is amounting to 569,317 metric tonnes as at May 1, 2017,” she said.

She said the Food Reserve Agency will also purchase up to 500,000 metric tonnes of agricultural commodities including maize for strategic food reserves.

Minister of Agriculture Dora Silaya (R), World Food Programme Country Director Simon Cmmelbeek (C)with Millers Association of Zambia Andrew Chntala(l) during the press briefing on the uplifting of Maize burn in Zambia at Government Complex in Lusaka yesterday.Picture by Josephine Nsululu/Zanis.
Minister of Agriculture Dora Silaya (R), World Food Programme Country Director Simon Cmmelbeek (C)with Millers Association of Zambia Andrew Chntala(l) during the press briefing on the uplifting of Maize burn in Zambia at Government Complex in Lusaka yesterday.Picture by Josephine Nsululu/Zanis.

Ms Siliya said the food balance sheet shows that the total maize required for human consumption, industrial use and other commitments amounts to 2,997,350 metric tonnes.
The production of millet is projected to increase by 8.65 percent from 29,973 metric tonnes last season to 32,566 metric tonnes this season.

Rice yields are estimated to increase by 44.04 percent from 26,675 metric tonnes last season to 38,423 metric tonnes.

“The production of groundnuts is forecast to increase by 28.23 percent to 168,699 metric tonnes from 131,562 metric tonnes last season, while mixed beans is projected to increase slightly by 1.29 percent to 45,938 metric tonnes from 45,351,” Ms Siliya said.

Production of burley tobacco is also estimated to rise by 29.95 percent from 6,476 metric tonnes to 8,416 metric tonnes while Virginia tobacco yields are envisaged to reduce by 3.68 percent from 12,540 metric tonnes to 12,079 metric tonnes.

Sorghum production is expected to increase from 14,107 metric tonnes to 17,337 metric tonnes.

Ms Siliya said soya beans production is estimated to rise to 351,416 metric tonnes from 267,490 metric tonnes.

“According to the crop forecast survey results, national cassava flour equivalent for the 2016/2017 season has been forecast to increase to 923,795 metric tonnes compared to 854,393 metric tonnes,” she said.

However, production of seed cotton is expected to decrease from 111,902 metric tonnes last season to 89,293 metric tonnes.

“In order to encourage the private sector to actively participate in maize marketing, I am pleased to announce that the export ban on maize and maize products is hereby lifted,” Ms Siliya said.

She encouraged farmers to continue diversifying their crop production and take agriculture as a business.

Ms Siliya said farmers should use cooperatives to their advantage and negotiate the best price to avoid being taken advantage of by farm produce traders.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. I’d think that it’s coming knowledge that when we have a bumper harvest, the first thing everyone should be talking about is the decrease in the price of Mealie-meal. Why the emphasis on export instead of ensuring that the citizens get the benefit for their hard work by buying the commodity at a cheaper price?

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    • At last, for once, they’ve done the right thing. Ambicious farmers will be able sell their produce in their preferred markets and realize a good income commensurate with their efforts

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    • At last, for once, they’ve done the right thing. Ambicious farmers will be able sell their produce in their preferred markets and realize a good income commensurate with their efforts

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  2. Basic economics: High supply – Low demand = Lower Price

    Why is this not applying to our Mealie-meal price?

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  3. Because the cheap mealie meal will annihilate and exterminate peasant farmers.

    If you want cheap mealie meal why don’t you become a farmer and spend the day in the sun, battling army worms. Why expect to fill your fat stomach off the sweat of the poor farmer ?

    Last year maize prices kicked off at K85 per bag and gradually crept up to K130 per bag. After GRZ intervention the price was stabilised at K110 per bag.

    This year, early maize has started off the season at K40 per bag (a 50% drop).

    Dora, we are not asking for K130 per bag like last year, but don’t kill us completely. Well done to Dora who has acted early by hoping to export off the excess 700,000 tons that would have destroyed local farmers. You have prevented a bloodbath. Don’t forget that your manifesto says…

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  4. Afgri, Cargil, Nwk and all the companies who failed to export maize because of the ban can now quickly export the stock they have so that they can buy from farmers because it’s clear that FRA will not manage to buy alot of maize from farmers.

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  5. WHAT IS GROUNDNUTS? i can find this word in the oxford english dictionary? What is mealiemeal are these zambian english terms? Do people still eat maize flour i thought its only meant for those in prison answering to treason charges

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  6. What happened to Malawi -Zambia maize gate scandal, up to now, no arrests, no investigations, no resignations.

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  7. Malawi maize scandal is buried as long Lungu and Doris are at the core of this scandal.

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  8. The problem in our country is that instead of the bumper harvest going in the stomach of millions of poor zambians and their homes it is going in the pockets of wealthy businessmen and their bank accounts.Malawi must also investigate why on two occasions buildings with documents got burnt and who was being investigated?First it was investigations regarding medical supplies and then maizegate.

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  9. Zambian got was overdid by mounting road blocks to arrest those buying and exporting maize.they killed the market.i think they were overzealous and forgot that the client is the king…

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