Saturday, June 22, 2024

Selling Unharvested Maize Fields to Foreigners Threatens National Food Security, Says Northern Province Permanent Secretary


The selling of unharvested maize fields to foreigners has become a major concern for the national food security in Zambia. Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Bernard Mpundu, has warned that the act, which has become common in border districts, could lead to a severe shortage of food and cause people to suffer from starvation.

According to Mr. Mpundu, small-scale farmers in some districts are selling all their maize fields to unscrupulous businessmen. This trend is not only hurting the national food security but also putting the farmers at risk of asking for relief maize after selling all their produce to briefcase traders.

To address the issue, Mr. Mpundu urged district administrations to sensitize people who are in the habit of selling their unharvested maize fields to stop. He made the call during a courtesy call on Mbala District Commissioner, Annie Paul, at her office.

Commissioner Paul also urged people in the Zombe area to desist from selling their unharvested maize fields. She warned that if the trend continues, it could lead to a severe shortage of food, and the government may not be able to provide relief to all those affected.

To support the government’s national food security program, farmers from Lunzua East Camp Agriculture Committee have pledged to sell their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) rather than briefcase traders. The chairperson of the committee, Darius Simutowe, confirmed that farmers have been sensitized against selling their fields and are committed to supporting the government’s efforts to ensure food security in the country.

The selling of unharvested maize fields to foreigners has become a major concern for Zambia’s national food security. The government is taking measures to sensitize people against the practice and encourage them to sell their produce to the Food Reserve Agency. The government’s efforts, however, need to be supported by all stakeholders, including farmers and traders, to ensure that Zambia’s food security is safeguarded.


  1. Farming is a business and I go for the highest bidder. After all the dollar that they pay will come into the country. In fact this year I plan to cultivate four limas on the banks of the Luapula River…. the customer will only need a canoe.

  2. What’s wrong with us…opportunity comes knocking it becomes a problem instead of encouraging people to grow more even winter maize we are complaining.

  3. The problem is Cabinet allowing export of subsidized Maize through FISP. And even worse the inputs those on FISP was very less which will translate to even less production this year.

    Solution increases FISP inputs inorder to produce more maize while sealing the lopeholes of exporting maize out.

    You don’t sell subsidized commodities you just create a lucrative arbitrage in the regional market also considering Zambian maize is non GMO the demand is high.

    If Zambia Govt wants to export maize let them only restrict it to FRA only for purposes of earning Forex.

    Go to Botwana they won’t let you carry containers of subsidized fuel into Zambia yes you can fill your tank but not a Jerry can

    • If you knew how much we put in you wouldn’t be talking about subsidizing. Yes I get six bags of fertilizer at K400.00 which could have cost me K3,600.00. But to grow this maize will cost me something like K6,000.00. You call that subsidizing? Come on man let’s be serious.

    • Who told you that Zambian maize is non GMO..Mwanawasa and Sikatana his Agric Minister fought hard to keep it that way but unfortunately after they passed your hungry politicans signed deals with Western seed companies for you to procure exclusively from them seeds that you can not replant. Problem is you dont even know what GMO is and you wonder why cancer cases are sky high in the country.

    • #Tarino orange… infact this type of seed affects our local breed. I planted the two types side by side. The local type grew but had a poor cob.

    • Deja Vu – That the whole idea…they want you to return like Big pharmastical who dont see any need to manufacture drugs that cure as they are bad for the bottomline.

  4. Its also easy to state that you are restricting FRA maize export but on the ground its a whole different story. It happened in previous govts where FRA agents, their supervisors and cadres were beoming rich exporting the maize illegally everyone was on it including customs officals. You had FRA staff buying Toyota Hilux jeeps with cash at the dealership.

  5. Why disadvantage peasant farmers when ZNFU sells to whomever they want? Some farmers are not on FISP and are free to “export”. It’s no guarantee FRA will buy my maize when I harvest. So why would I refuse spot buyers choosing to wait for government?
    If grz ever shows up: they buy on credit payable after several months; and the electronic card system is tricky to mature. Let’s see whether the next crop marketing season will address these challenges to entice more farmers.

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