Govt bans mealie meal export


MINISTER of Agriculture, Reuben Phiri says government will not allow millers to export mealie-meal because the staple food is meant for local consumption.

Mr Phiri told Millennium TV that Government is aware that mealie meal and maize were very expensive in other countries, which could tempt millers to export but that exports will not be allowed.

“The demand for the maize is so much, we are selling it equivalent to about US$210 per ton and in certain countries, the maize is almost US$ 500 or US$ 600 per ton and so the Government is very happy.

“So some of the millers who are not patriotic will want to sell mealie-meal and maize at export parity and that we are saying you will not do it with our maize but if you have your own maize go ahead,” Mr. Phiri.

The Minister said Government was determined to ensure that Zambians had access to cheaply priced maize through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Recently, Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) president, Andrew Chintala appealed to Government to allow millers to start exporting mealie-meal.

Mr Phiri said Government released cheaply priced FRA maize to millers meant for local consumption and not export.

He added that Government could not allow millers to export so that the country is left with few stocks that cannot sustain the local demand.

Mr Phiri said it was unfortunate that millers who bought maize at a subsidised price now wanted to export the staple food at the expense of Zambians.

He said FRA maize was meant for local consumption in case of an emergency.

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