Eastern Province Minister, Malozo Sichone, has bemoaned the rampant smuggling of maize from Zambia into Malawi through the Mwami border post.
Mr. Sichone told ZANIS in Chipata that the maize is being ferried on trucks in the pretext of exporting cement through the eastern border of Zambia.
He said although it was true that Zambia was exporting a lot of cement to Malawi, people should not take advantage of this situation by smuggling maize into that country.
There is a lot demand for cement in Malawi because the country is constructing a stadium.
He disclosed that last week, police impounded two trucks laden with maize heading to Malawi through the Mwami border post.
Mr. Sichone said the drivers of the trucks had documents purporting that they were carrying cement when they were carrying maize.
The minister said there was urgent need to seal the porosity of the Mwami border post in order to protect a good maize yield which Eastern province was likely to have despite the attack by army worms and an uneven rainfall pattern during the just ended rain season.
He said the province, which was highly hit by army worms earlier in the last rain season, has managed to recover through the replanting exercise and will experience a yield similar to last year’s harvest.
And Mr. Sichone has said Eastern province, which largely depends on agriculture for its economic stability, will soon have more Food Reserve Agency (FRA) storage slabs and offices.
He said plans were underway to build more storage slabs and FRA offices in the province to improve on its food security.