Zambia to supply mealie-meal to neighbouring countries – Sichinga


MINISTER of Agriculture and Livestock Robert Sichinga says Government will supply mealie-meal to needy neighbouring countries to avoid the commodity running out in Zambia through smuggling.
Mr Sichinga said the shortage of mealie-meal in neighbouring countries is causing smuggling of the commodity, but that Government has sufficient maize stocks to feed the country and neighbouring countries.
He said this on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation National Watch programme monitored in Lusaka yesterday.
“As long as these neighouring countries have a shortage of mealie-meal, they will continue coming to Zambia and that is why what we have done as Government, is to talk with these other Governments to see how we can help them without prejudicing our citizens,” Mr Sichinga said.
He said Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and the World Food Programme have approached Government for assistance with maize.
Mr Sichinga said there is 290,000 metric tonnes of maize ready to be sent to border posts to help in mitigating the shortage of the commodity in other countries.
He said Government is in the process of engaging the Attorney General on the process of transporting maize to countries which have requested for assistance.
The minister said there is an excess of over 700, 000 stocks of maize and that if this commodity is not used, it will go to waste.
Mr Sichinga said the prices for mealie-meal in other countries is expensive and that if Government does not help to avert the situation in neighbouring countries, the same will happen in Zambia.