NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
MILLERS Association of Zambia (MAZ) has called on Government to urgently implement the export policy of maize to allow Zambia to benefit from deficit countries.
In an interview last week, MAZ chairman Andrew Chintala said the shortage in availability of food grains in Eastern Africa presents an opportunity for Zambia to supply the region.
“Presently, the Eastern Africa region is experiencing a shortage of food grains, including maize, soya beans and others. Southern Africa, on the other hand, is currently facing a more positive outlook for food production,” he said.
Mr Chintala said implementation of the policy is expected to culminate into smooth trade among Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and East African markets among other countries.
Meanwhile, Mr Chintala said the move by Government to facilitate simplification of export documents at border entry points will expedite movement of maize and maize products from Zambia to other markets.
He said the sector has witnessed low export volumes of maize and maize products due to the complex paper work involved.
“We are on record as having called on Government to make the export of mealie-meal and maize simple. We go through such laborious processes that sometimes just to get the documentation done takes you two or three days before you load a truck,” he said.
Last week, Minister of Finance Felix Mutati cited various bottlenecks as negatively affecting figures of mealie-meal exports.
And Mr Chintala said there is need for further engagement between Government and sector players on how to manage the surplus crop for export.