According to a source at the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture, the ban on mealie-meal exports will be lifted this week or soon.
The government has yet to lift the ban on maize exports, according to the source, but the country should expect the ban on mealie-meal exports to be lifted this week or very soon.
Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo revealed in an interview on March 17, 2021, that the government has approved maize exports and has established a particular quantity (quota) that will be permitted.
Michael Katambo said the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ), Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) have reached a tripartite agreement concerning the export.
The Agro Minister said MAZ has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ministry and will soon disclose the details of the MOU. Efforts to get a comment from the Millers Association of Zambia concerning the contents of the MOU proved futile by press time.
And the Grain Traders Association of Zambia – GTAZ said the exportation will allow the country to earn the much needed foreign exchange. GTAZ Executive Director Chambuleni Simwinga said the country has sufficient maize therefore the price of mealie meal should not be affected whether the country exports or not.
Simwinga said he is positive that the country will have a bumper harvest in this current farming season (2020/2021)m therefore there is no need to keep holding on to maize when the country can export and still have enough for consumption.
Agro Minister Katambo is expected to make the official announcement to spell out the details of the allocated quota for export and will also avail measures that will be put in place to avoid the price of mealie meal escalating out of reach.
Stakeholders have advised that exporting value-added products like mealie meal bring in more foreign exchange into the Zambian economy when compared to exporting maize grain. Moreover, the local milling ensures that jobs are retained in Zambia.