Opposition Patriotic Front Kanchibiya Constituency Member of Parliament Sunday Chilufya Chanda has asked the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture to immediately stop the exportation of maize to other countries.
The Government this year lifted a ban on maize export amid bumper harvests recorded in the last two farming seasons.
Commenting on the dry spell being experienced across the country in November and December this year, Mr. Chanda said chances of recording another bumper harvest in the 2021, 2022 farming season are reducing.
Some plants planted in November and December have completely dried up in some parts of the country due to dry spells.
“It is evidently clear that prospects of a bumper harvest in 2022 are dwindling by the day considering the prolonged dry spell across the country,” Mr. Chanda said in a media statement issued on Monday afternoon.
“We also have farmers across the country who planted their crops following the first rains that have completely dried up. These may not have the capacity to replant even if the rains normalised. We are faced with a situation where citizens in different parts of the country will need relief food as a consequence.”
“Against this background, I wish to call on the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, to halt the exportation of maize until the rains have normalised and after estimating the impact of the dry spell on the 2022 harvest,” said the Lawmaker.
“Further, the Ministry of Agriculture is called upon to inform Zambians about the full extent of this dry spell. The Ministry should also focus on preparing small scale farmers on climate change adaptation methods across the country,” he added.
“Lastly, I wish to call upon the Government to invest heavily in irrigation across the country, as a medium to long term measure, so as to reduce dependence on rain-fed agriculture,” Mr. Chanda concluded.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chanda’s proposal may not receive support from the Grain Traders Association of Zambia, who earlier this year advocated for the lifting of the ban on maize exports.
Association Executive Director Chabuleni Simwinga is on record to have said that the association has the capacity to export 68,000 tonnes of maize.
Mr. Simwinga had further expressed concern that his members are still holding on to stocks of maize which he feared would go bad.
Bumper harvest…. don’t come easy. This year we are still receiving our inputs but ” luckily” the rains are also late. Just cross the fingers.
We just hope ba Shetani do not sell off our bumper harvest grown with the support of FISP under PF to the DRC. They are only good at selling what others have produced the way they sold off companies established by KK in the 1990s.
DOUBLE STANDARDS BY THIS CHAP
CHANGES WITH THE WIND
SPEAKING UP NOW AFTER A LOT HAS ALREADY LEFT THE COUNTRY
Sunday is 100% right about investing in climate adaptive technologies. The question is why they did not do this when they were in power until just 12 weeks ago?
There are new and competent people who were given the mandate on August 12, they will sort out this one. Its different from PF who had a know it all mentality
You PF chaps betrayed Zambians with your fake export bans which just caused grief amongst farmers and benefited millers and other connected people.
The new govt have the right approach of allowing for the export of maize so as not to discourage farmers from growing the crop next year
Monday you are talking sense but you should also come up with some figures such as how much we still have as strategic reserves , how much are we expected to consume until next harvest so we know exactly how much if any can be exported.
Correct advice Hon Chanda. This is constructive and helpful. Not what ba Hon. Raphael Nakachinda speaks about or maybe it is just media that chooses to report on negative statements from him. PF elders should give good advice to Raphael.
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