By AARON CHIYANZO in Mansa
MORE exports of maize and mealie meal will be allowed this marketing season owing to the good harvest for the country to earn foreign exchange, President Edgar Lungu has said.
President Lungu however said the exports would be monitored so as not to create any shortages in the country. He said that farmers should earn foreign exchange from their produce through grain exports. He was speaking during a meeting with Chief Mabumba, Chief Kalaba, Chief Mibenge, Chief Chisunka, Chief Kalasa Lukangaba, Chief Chimese and Chief Matanda.
President Lungu said millers would also be allowed to export mealie meal. “This season we will allow more exports of maize and mealie meal. We want our farmers to earn foreign exchange. We had a good harvest so it’s only fair our people benefit. We will however monitor the exports so that we don’t create a shortage for ourselves,” he said.
Mr Lungu also advised farmers to add value to their produce to earn more money from their sweat.
He said there was more money earned from finished products compared to selling produce in raw form.
President Lungu also said he would ask the Food Reserve Agency to add cassava to their food basket. He expressed happiness that Luapula, which was previously considered a no farming zone was now producing a lot of cassava and other cash crops.
And the chiefs thanked President Lungu for ensuring that farming inputs were distributed on time and for increasing the FRA buying price for produce. Chief Mabumba said on behalf of other traditional leaders that farmers would again produce more because of the government’s timely support to farmers.