Zambia plans to import 100,000 tonnes of wheat by August 30 to meet shortfalls


Wheat industry players have proposed to import 100,000 metric tonnes by August 30 following the projected deficit of the crop during the year.

As such, the Ministry of Agriculture had given a ‘no objection’ to the importation so as to meet the shortfall, according to Cabinet.

To facilitate this, Cabinet had approved the issuance of a Statutory Instrument namely, the Customs and Excise Regulations, 2024, that provides for the suspension of duty on the importation of 100,000 metric tonnes of wheat.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday, Chief Government Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, said in 2015, a ban on wheat importations was introduced in order to protect the local producers of wheat and wheat products.

“Occasionally, the Ministry of Agriculture issues permits to allow importation of specific quantities of wheat to meet domestic supply shonfall,” Mweetwa stated.

He said the exemption was necessary in order to allow the millers to meet the shortfall in the supply of wheat on the local market.

The Minister stated this would allow millers to continue production in the face of low supply of the commodity before commencement of the harvesting season when national wheat stocks are expected to be sufficient.

Read More: Farmers oppose government’s plan to import 125,000 tonnes of wheat

“Cabinet also approved the ratification of the revised Nåcala Development Corridor (NDC) Agreement between Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia,” Mweetwa revealed.

He said this was to ensure safe, cost-effective and efficient movement of goods and persons within the length of the Nacala Development Corridor.

Mweetwa added that the Nacala Development Corridor was a multi-modal transport and logistics infrastructure network within and through the Republics of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

“It is one of the important trade corridors in Southern Africa and its development is critical to enhancing regional and international trade competitiveness, particularly for the landlocked countries of Zambia and Malawi,” he stated.

The Minister noted the need for the Member States to ratify it and deposit the instrument of ratification with the SADC Secretariat in order for the Agreement to come into force.

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