CIVIL Society Organisation for Scaling up Nutrition country coordinator Mathews Mhuru says the government’s decision to lift the ban on the export of mealie meal is likely to increase food insecurity. Agriculture minister Michael Katambo recently announced the government had allowed the exportation of mealie-meal. He said only 120,000 tonnes of mealie-meal would be exported.
But Mhuru expressed concern that with drought affecting several parts of the country, many Zambians face hunger. Mhuru observed that although the lifting of the ban would ease foreign trade and benefit Zambia through foreign exchange, the move would reduce the stock of the staple food to provide cover in the event the country does not record a bumper harvest.
He observed that currently there were more than 60 districts especially those in the Southern and Eastern parts of the country that were seeking relief maize. Mhuru further observed that the move would also increase chances of the country seeking aid which would result in GMO supplies from other nations that may seek to assist Zambia with any relief food.
President Edgar Lungu has said Zambia will not face hunger on account of the lifting of the ban to export mealie-meal to countries within the region and beyond.