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Govt bans export of feeds from maize, set to conduct survey on extent of damage caused by drought


Government will in the next few days conduct a maize harvest audit to inform the nation the extent of damage caused by the current drought.

Chief Government Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, stated that government had also placed a ban on the exportation of feeds whose ingredients emanate from maize.

Mweetwa said this during the weekly government media engagement to discuss matters of national interest in Livingstone, Southern Province on Saturday.

He said this was part of government’s measures to mitigate the drought which President Hakainde Hichilema had declared as a disaster and an emergency.

“Government has re-aligned the budget and will channel more resources towards humanitarian relief interventions and commercial farmers are being encouraged to venture into contract farming to produce winter maize,” Mweetwa stated.

He added that other measures included the defence forces upscalling the production of maize to mitigate the drought situation

“Government through the Committee of Ministers on Disaster Management led by the Vice President and through Cabinet agreed to introduce a tax waiver on irrigation equipment that has to be imported in the country immediately,” the minister said.

Mweetwa indicated that government was engaging local and international partners to offer support in whatever form available to provide the needed relief.

He stated that government would target water bodies that were unaffected for irrigation despite claims on social media that irrigation would not be possible due to the drought.

“The Government of Republic of Tanzania has officially communicated to Zambian government of its availability to export maize to Zambia,” the minister disclosed.

Read More: Oxfam says over 6 million people face starvation as Zambia battles drought

Mweetwa stated that Uganda had also indicated that it had produced sufficient maize which it was willing and ready to export to Zambia.

He, however, indicted that the importation of maize from other countries would only happen after the Food Reserve Agency ( FRA) mops up all the locally produced maize to ensure that government’s money revolves within the local economy.

“The New Dawn Administration sold the maize from the previous harvest which was in stock because maize has a limited life span,” Mweetwa said.

On energy, the Minister stated that according to current statistics, only 20 percent of water is being posted into the Kariba Dam for power generation.

Mweetwa urged farmers to adopt alternate power sources like solar electricity.

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