Lubinda dares importers over maize


Given Lubinda has ruled out possibilities of importing maize following speculation of looming hunger and has challenged those contemplating importing maize to show him the receipts so that he can refund them.

Mr Lubinda who is Agriculture Minister said no one so far had obtained an import permit from the ministry for maize.

“I am humbly requesting those who have imported maize to bring their receipts and I shall refund them, I am willing to compensate them because not a single person has brought into Zambia grain,” he said.

Mr Lubinda said there would sufficient maize harvest this marketing season because of adequate rainfall that Zambia had been receiving in the past few months.

He ruled out fears of a poor harvest which was previously anticipated.

Mr Lubinda said the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would have a big task this year of stocking maize to be harvested this season.

He was speaking when he officiated at a competition workshop organised by the Consumer Unit Trust Society (CUTS) Zambia while unveiling findings for the CREW project.

“The FRA will have a big task this year because what we feared as a poor harvest has changed.

“By the Grace of God, we have received better rains than we anticipated and the crop is looking extremely enticing and some traders have started procuring the maize while it is still green,” Mr Lubinda said.

He also emphasised that FRA had enough carry over maize to last Zambia up to August this year. Mr Lubinda said there were no reasons f0r people to panic as Zambia had enough maize stocks as well as livestock bran.

And Mr Lubinda commended CUTs for the project initiative adding that the approach should be applied by government departments for enhancing competition reforms in the economy.

He said the finding from the project had been used to develop a methodology that demonstrated benefits of competition reforms in various sectors.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Commerce Domestic Trade director Sunday Chikoti said the project would help policy makers to understand the importance of competition at the level of policy making.

Mr Chikoti said the project would also enhance visibility of completion reforms.

And CUTS Zambia board member Yusuf Dodia said competition reforms were important for economic growth.