Govt approves Zim 10,000 MT maize deal

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:48:56 +0000

 

By Aaron Chiyanzo

GOVERNMENT has permitted the Zimbabwean government to procure 10,000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambian farmers on a government-to-government deal, says Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Siliya said that the Zimbabwean government had requested for 10,000 metric tonnes of maize to be procured from Zambian farmers.

She said that Government had agreed to respond positively to Zimbabwe’s request after wide consultations within Government.

Ms Siliya explained that Zimbabwe was in need of food for its people but that they had already bought the maize from Zambian farmers and were awaiting Government permission.

She said the maize was not bought from Government nor the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) but from farmers across the country.

Ms Siliya said that the Government was not directly involved in the transactions between the farmers and the Zimbabwean government, and that it did not even determine the prices at which the maize was being bought.

“We received a request for maize from Zimbabwe, a letter came from their Minister of Welfare Services requesting for 10,000 MT of maize. After consultations within Government, we have agreed that Zimbabwe being a neighbour in need of food, we would respond positively,” she said.

Ms Siliya reiterated that the role of Government in the Zimbabwean maize transaction was only to facilitate a permit so that transporters were not stopped along the way as they took the maize to Zimbabwe.

She explained that the maize export ban was still in effect and that law enforcement officers were mandated to stop any illegal exports of the commodity.

The minister however said Government had made exceptions to maize export transactions following requests from neighboring countries in need.

“Zambia is not an island, we live in the region with neighbours and it was accepted that neighbouring countries in need were to be an exception. When your neighbour’s house is burning, yours will burn too,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Siliya said that FRA had procured few maize stocks because of the demand from the private sector and that there was only about 300,000 MT of maize in reserve.

And Ms Siliya said that Government had allowed the Malawian government to procure 100,000 MT of maize from farmers through the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) in a similar way.

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