By GIDEON NYENDWA
GOVERNMENT should halt the export of maize because with the floods that are being experienced in some parts of the country, a bumper harvest was not guaranteed, Small-Scale Farmers Development Agency (SAFADA) executive director Boyd Moobwe has said.
Mr Moobwe said that floods that were being experienced in most parts of the country especially in the southern part where fields were washed away, would negatively affect the yields this year.
He said that the current situation was a threat to national food security because the areas that had been affected by the floods were the maize belts of the country. Mr Moobwe said the government assured the nation that the country had enough maize in stock but that would not be the case because allowing the private sector to export was going to drain the reserves.
He said the government was allowing export of maize on the premise that the country was going to record a bumper harvest but indications had shown the opposite because of climate change.
Mr Moobwe said the government needed to assess local consumption critically before they could allow the private sector to start exporting the grain.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture needed to do a crop focus to see how much was going to be produced in the country under the current climatic conditions before they could allow the private sector to continue exporting maize.
Mr Moobwe said that after the crop focus the ministry would have proper information on how much could be produced this year despite the floods.
Meanwhile, Mr Moobwe commended the government through the Disaster Management Mitigation Unit for helping the families that were affected by the floods with relief food.