Friday, October 25, 2013

Govt suspends maize bran exports
By Gift Chanda
Mon 30 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE government has suspended maize and bran exports, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a latest move to ensure availability locally.

According to Statutory Instrument No. 85 of 2013, the export of maize grain, maize bran and No. 3 meal has been suspended with immediateeffect.

Only government-to-government exports and exports by the World Food Programme (WFP) are exempted from this Statutory Instrument signed by agriculture Minister Robert Sichinga on September 9.

"All export permits issued before or after the release of this S.I have since been revoked," according to the new law.

Zambia's maize production fell 11 per cent this year after poor weather and a worm infestation impacted on yields. The 2012/13 maize output was recorded at 2.5 million tonnes from 2.85 million tonnes in the previous season.

Although industry officials have placed the total national requirement of maize at an average of 1.2 million tonnes for food, the brewery and stock feed industries, there are fears the country may experience shortages of maize and bran if exports are not regulated.

The government last year doubled the country's strategic maize reserves to 1 million tonnes from 500,000 and limited exports to keep prices of the staple food low as global grain prices surged.

This year, the government, through the Food Reserve Agency, said it would buy 500,000 tonnes for strategic purposes.

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