Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo says government has put an administrative measure on the export of maize outside the country.
Mr. Katambo says the restrictive measure is not a ban but a temporal measure to ensure food security in the nation.
He attributed administrative restriction as due to Food Reserve Agency (FRA) not reaching the strategic national reserve of purchasing 500,000 metric tonnes of maize.
Mr. Katambo noted that Zambia is practising a liberalized market economy to allow the private sector to participate in the purchase of the grain.
Mr. Katambo said government is monitoring the transportation of maize and mealie-meal in the country.
The parliamentarians in the house however received the restrictive measure as a ‘ban’ effected by government.
The Minister was responding to a question raised by UPND Kalomo Central Member of Parliament Harry Kamboni who wanted to find out how many metric tonnes of maize were purchased by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), and whether the agency will meet its target to ensure food security in the country.
And Mr Katambo further urged farmers in the country not to offload the maize on the market unnecessarily.
Meanwhile, Mr. Katambo has disclosed that FRA has so far bought 166, 831 MT as at 11th October, 2018.
The Minister said this translates into 33.4 percent of FRA’s mandate.