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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Government to Amend FRA Act to allow for Maize Export Licenses-Inonge Wina

Headlines Government to Amend FRA Act to allow for Maize Export Licenses-Inonge Wina

The government says it is amending the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) act to address among others, issues surrounding the export of maize.

Vice President Inonge Wina who was speaking in Chipata when she held a meeting with the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZCCI) said the current restrictions on maize export is not meant to punish farmers, but an effort to safeguard lives by ensuring there is enough food in strategic reserves.

She disclosed that the government fed up to 2.7 million disaster victims in 2018/19 and part of 2020.

Ms Wina was responding to concerns raised by Chipata District Farmers Union Chairman Vigil Malambo who said the government should allow farmers to export maize especially in instances where FRA fails to give a competitive price.

He said the current situation is not benefitting anyone as farmers have opted to smuggle the commodity.

“Government should consider giving export licenses to traders who will be paying tax to allow them sell the grain anywhere, this way everyone will benefit”, he said.

In her response, the Vice President said the act has been tabled to parliament with the view of amending it to maybe consider giving export permits.

“Government is working with the FRA act to see how best this can be done so that hopefully, changes can be made with regards to exports in the next marketing season”, Ms Wina explained.

She further said government targets to reserve 1 million tonnes of maize every year but has had a challenge with grain marketers who rush into buying the grain even before the moisture content adequately drops.

She said some of the people who buy maize are foreigners who sometimes follow farmers in their respective fields to buy the grain.

“Because of this trend, FRA finds limited stocks by the time it starts buying. This is why government is forced to put in these restrictions, to ensure there is enough good to respond to unforeseen situations” she noted.

The Vice President used the platform to thank the Chamber for the role it has been playing in safeguarding business and being a key development partner.

And Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZCCI) Vice President Laurian Haangala appealed to government to encourage companies it deals with to register with ZCCI as a way of getting assurance that such companies are genuine.

Mr Haangala noted that ensuring that companies register with the chamber will also give confidence to foreign investors.

“It is important that business companies belong to the Chamber, this will rule out uncertainties on the genuineness of such companies. And government is key in ensuring this is attained”, he said.

The chamber also tackled among others, the effects of covid- 19 on business in the region saying business has been negatively affected imploring government to make it easy for local companies to seek redress.

7 COMMENTS

  1. This Inonge Wina I wonder if she is one of the PF she seems to be towing her own way.

    What authority does she possess or she is just a figurehead vice president?

    PF must go!

  2. Madilu you spend all day criticising our hard working government. Remember the voter want to know what your party upnd will do differently rather than what we are doing wrong. Is it any wonder why you lose elections when you have no data, no message for the people. Kuwaya waya fye

  3. Many businesses that include SMEs have failed to see the benefits of being members of ZCCI. ZCCI just collects subscriptions and it ends there. There’s no competitive advantage in sourcing for business whether you’re a member or not. Shouting ECL2021 will get you more business than being a member of these useless Chambers

  4. That is very correct. When Government starts working next year after August 2021 it should do this. At the moment, there is no government.

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  5. There we go again with old UNIPist policies and mentality. Licences for everything and anything. End result this licensing will just breed unbridled corruption and officials making cuts out of hardworking farmers. Just allow commercial farmers who don’t get govt agro inputs to export and earn us forex. License for what? Will the licence till the land, plant seed, weed and harvest the crop. Stop these Nonsensical burdens on farmers.

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  6. No!!! We should not allow export of maize in its commodity form, but only in a processed form i.e. mealie meal, grits, maize bran, oil etc.,. Let us get a premium on this product.

  7. Does the VP know that they stopped teaching Mulenga & Jelita, Dongo na Sundu, Old Mariana’s Garden syllabus? It seems she’s using an old syllabus and technics trying to solve digital world problems. She needs a software upgrade or retirement

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