Sunday, July 21, 2024

Zambia is likely to experience a shortage of maize grain, warns former PF chairman Samuel Mukupa

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Zambians should brace for disaster as the country is likely to experience a shortage of maize grain, warns former PF chairman Samuel Mukupa. In an interview with The Mast, he stated that the government should be thinking of importing maize.

“If people say the truth, they are vilified but I am not afraid. I think let us brace for disaster. There will be no food. As it is, people are scrounging. The granaries are empty, including the strategic reserves,” said Mukupa.

He continued, “We have what they call briefcase businessmen coming all the way; some of them from Kenya, some of them from Tanzania. Normally, they could not get into the hinterland to this extent, but they are doing so. That simply explains that, in terms of strategizing as a nation, we have lost our vision.”

“Strategic food reserves may not be sufficient, and this is a very critical issue, I am afraid. So if you are talking about household security, the period going into the next year, I am sorry, the truth of the matter is that it’s going to be disaster. Mark my words,” he added.

Mukupa criticized those who claimed there was enough grain, saying, “Are they sure? Last time we were told there was no need for panicking because there would be no shortage of electricity and there were blackouts. Because we were exporting everything, now we have to import to subsidize. This is where we have a problem, and this kind of planning is not good.”

He pointed out that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) sheds are empty, which is a sign of the looming crisis. “For us in Mporokoso, we know when the FRA sheds are full. As it is, they are empty,” Mukupa lamented.

He added that there was a need for innovation in managing risks of food insecurity. “You people who are close to authorities kindly inform them that in the area of food security, we are in a critical situation. And this is not the situation for Mporokoso only. This is the situation everywhere,” he said.

“When you get into Nsama, particularly when you get into Nsumbu, how much is a 50 kg bag of maize selling now? It is K350. Then you will know and understand the gravity of the issue,” Mukupa continued.

As a peasant farmer, Mukupa emphasized the need to ramp up production at all levels in the country. “We need to be going into production. If we don’t produce, we will die. We will die of hunger,” he warned.

He noted that he had cultivated sufficient kandolo, groundnuts, cassava, and millets but could not cultivate maize due to the unavailability of fertilizer. “Finding fertilizer is extremely difficult. Even those that were stocking knew they were not going to make a lot of money. It was very expensive,” he explained.

“In this part of the world, the rains are heavy, so we need more amounts of fertilizer than is normally stocked, and so that has been the most difficult part. In terms of hectarage under cultivation, for maize, that is very insubstantial, and I want to think that most people that depend on maize will possibly end up in abject hunger,” Mukupa said.

He highlighted that many people had resorted to chitemene, cassava growing, and kandolo farming to have enough food. “If we think outside the box, we can safely say ‘we have another product which does not require so much fertilizer like cassava but can be found at literally every point in our republic,'” he added.

8 COMMENTS

  1. This is what happens when you have a president who is a businessman. The decisions are always made to favour his businesses and not the interest of the people

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  2. Zambia is currently under the control of a useless foresight lacking boy, hh. A blind driver. We have told him what will happen but he won’t heed the advice because he is a stubborn little insecure brat

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  3. This is the guy who urged the substitution of bread with kandolo, si teto Paulosi? Well, let’s see. Mwina vi ma roller meal vinzankala mbweee iwe Mukupa. Tizakadyanso instead of Breakfast. We will also buy your millet ndipo.

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  4. Let’s get the opinion of our experts before we start freaking out. I would rather listen to professionals that do a professional assessment rather than a politician- cum- peasant farmer.

  5. I’ve noticed that many people have planted soya beans as opposed to maize. This is unprecedented. Each DACO must take stock of how many hectares of maize have done and the expected yield. This will help to plan the crop marketing season.

  6. If Hakainde was intelligent as was potrayed during his opposition days he should have maintained some of the working systems and change those that where not working. But to shock the whole system is probably not being very ingenous. While in opposition he often used such words as prodence, reckless etc. but now it appears that he probably didnot know the meaning the words he used or never meant what he said.

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  7. These are just crooks and monsters with no feeling at all for Zambians. When they are given a chance again. They will plunder the country and become millionaires

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