ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
THE Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR) says the putting up of protective measures such as the 10 percent export tax on maize by Government, is one way of ensuring that the country is food secure.
ZIPAR public finance unit research fellow Florence Muleya has also commended Government for lifting the export ban on maize as this will enable farmers with enough stocks to sell their crops at a competitive price.
In an interview recently, Mrs Muleya said export taxes and bans are usually implemented by governments to allow controls in a seamless way to create a balance in the economy.
“Putting up the export tax is a good way of ensuring that there is control in the market because even the cost increase is insignificant. Those who are unable to manage the cost of exporting in terms of transport and paying taxes, may decide to keep their produce in the country. This will mean that the supplies that are needed to ensure food security remains within.
“While bans are usually put in place because it is not known how much will be exported, and in a situation where there is no control, then it becomes difficult to ensure that there is food security in the economy. An export tax is a good alternative to a ban as it is less distortionary in the market,” she said.
Mrs Muleya said it is encouraging to witness Government implementing policies that will help create markets and also boost food security.