Boost revenue through maize trade – CTPD

CENTRE for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has urged Government to boost revenue generation through maize trade, but Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya has maintained that regional exports will only resume after securing sufficient strategic reserves.
A recent study by the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) reveals that in 2015, Zambia earned US$210 million from exports of maize and related products.
CTPD acting executive director Isaac Mwaipopo said imposition of exports bans has in many marketing seasons triggered a rise in illicit maize trade done through some of the country’s porous border posts.
Mr Mwaipopo said Zambia should take advantage of the prevailing situation within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region that is experiencing maize deficits to earn foreign exchange.
SADC is a regional organisation including of 14 member countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“Zambia is one of the few countries in the sub-region that currently has sufficient maize to meet its domestic consumption demand as well as surplus that could be sold on the export market,” he said.
However, in the ministerial statement to Parliament recently, Ms Siliya said Government has put in place stringent measures to ensure that informal export of maize and mealie meal is stopped.
“Once Government has secured sufficient strategic reserves, it is my intention to allow the resumption of exports of maize and mealie-meal products to neighbouring countries as a way of supporting the private sector, promoting economic growth, job creation and increasing foreign exchange earnings,” she said.

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