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Halt maize exports to secure food security – SAFADA

By OLIVER SAMBOKO
HALT maize exports to safeguard the country’s national food security as there is a likelihood of a dry spell this farming season which could negatively affect the harvest, the Small Farmers development agency (SAFADA) has advised government.
This follows the Zambia Meteorological Department projection of a dry spell for the next ten days in most parts of the Country and advised farmers not to plant yet.
SAFADA Executive Director, Boyd Moobwe said in an interview that government should be very cautious about exporting maize to the regional market to ensure the country does not find itself in a food crisis after the next harvest season.
“Government should halt the export of maize for now, until a proper assessment on the situation is done, following fears that as a country we may face a prolonged drought,” he said.
He said while it’s appreciated that government is exporting maize to raise funds to pay farmers that supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency, there is need to take precautions aimed at ensuring that the population does not starve in future.
Mr Moobwe also said warned that failure by government to access the situation properly will result in the country having to start importing maize from the same countries it intends to export to.
Mr Moobwe said while it is a fact that Zambia’s maize production rose seven percent to 3.62 million tons in the 2020/2021 crop season, from 3.38 million tons in the previous season, there is a high risk that the country may not achieve this, this coming harvest season, because of the expected poor rains the country is likely to experience.

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