Business

Government advised to formalise maize export

MEMORY MANINGA, Lusaka
A CIVIL society organisation has advised Government to consider formalising the exportation of maize to other countries as a way of eradicating the growing illegal trend of maize smuggling from the country.
Over the past two years, stakeholders have demanded concerted efforts in an attempt to completely eradicate the illegal practice.
In an interview last week, Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) executive director Patrick Nshindano said the demand for maize on the international market has continued to increase and Government would do well to respond positively by coming up with policies that will allow farmers to indulge in trade.
Mr Nshindano said the export of excess maize will result in Government acquiring more revenue.
“Currently, the local market does not provide an environment where farmers can earn more profit from producing maize but the demand from the international market presents an attractive market whereby the exportation of maize, if formalised, will give farmers an opportunity to earn more revenue,” he said.
Mr Nshindano also said as long as the international market continues to provide incentives that attract local farmers, smuggling of maize and mealie-meal cannot end because smugglers are already acquainted to designated routes that they use in the process.
He advised Government to encourage farmers to engage in export-led production, as long as the latter continue to produce adequate maize that can carter for both the local and international markets.
On the other hand, Government has continued to raise concern over the rising incidences of maize and mealie-meal smuggling from the country.
The practice could have a negative impact on the country’s food security if left unchecked.

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