By SIMON MUNTEMBA
GOVERNMENT’S decision to lift the ban on export of mealie meal is likely to increase food insecurity, All Peoples Congress (ACP) president Nason Msoni has said. Mr Msoni said it would have been better if Government had lifted the ban only on export of maize and not mealie meal.
He was reacting to the government’s announcement that it had allowed the exportation mealie-meal. Recently, Government accepted a proposal by the Millers Association of Zambia to allow millers with their own maize to export 20 percent of their meal-meal.
But in an interview, Mr Msoni said Government did not take due diligence in ascertaining the country’s maize stock levels before allowing exportation of the commodity. He observed that although the lifting of the ban would ease foreign trade and benefit Zambia through foreign exchange, the move would reduce the stock of the staple food.
This, he said, would lead to rising of prices for mealie meal. “It seems Government has not learnt any lessons from the previous experience of the skyrocketing prices of mealie meal in the country resulting from insufficient maize stocks,” Mr Msoni said. Mr Msoni explained that the “reckless” export of maize would ultimately put the burden on ordinary citizens who would have to pay high prices for the commodity.