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‘Maize export ban hurting economy’

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  • “Government should understand that as private sector we have to survive because we borrow money from the banks and right now there is slow consumption of mealie meal so the maize sales are slow,”

By PETER SICHALI
THE absolute ban on export of maize is killing the private sector, Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) spokesperson Chambuleni Simwinga has said.

Mr Simwinga has meanwhile announced that GTAZ only bought 200, 000 out of the targeted 500, 000 tonnes of maize.
“Government should understand that as private sector we have to survive because we borrow money from the banks and right now there is slow consumption of mealie meal so the maize sales are slow,” he said.
He said Government should allow for maize export on controlled situation.
“This thing we have been calling for has been done before in Zambia using the quota system and compel exporters to account for their exports,” Mr Simwinga said.
Mr Simwinga said the private sector especially those in agriculture had been greatly affected by the ban on export of maize and mealie meal.
He said some milling companies on the Copperbelt had even started closing down following the ban on maize and mealie meal exports.
Mr Simwinga said Government should be flexible on maize export to save the private sector from shutting their businesses.
“The ban export on maize is killing private sector participation, because it is not possible that the maize we have bought can be consumed locally at a high costs,” Mr Simwinga said.
Mr Simwinga said Grain traders finance small-scale farmers through the out-grower schemes systems.
He said allowing for export of maize could also help stabilise the Kwacha as the grain was fetching a lot of money in Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo.

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