LUSAKA. — The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has reportedly impounded 28 maize-laden trucks destined for Malawi.
According to Times of Zambia, the vehicles did not have export permits from Zambia’s Ministry of Agriculture
Zambian Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda said the government had provided maize for local consumption, adding that any miller found exporting maize to surrounding countries would risk having their contracts terminated and their names being blacklisted.
“We don’t want to see the price of mealie-meal going beyond the reach of Zambians because people are exporting the commodity to neighbouring countries at exorbitant prices,” Lubinda was quoted as saying.
The incident came just a few months after the Zambian government classified maize as a controlled commodity, forcing companies to obtain export permits in order to carry the product across the border.
Zambia recently banned the export of maize to Zimbabwe in a push to boost reserves in light of the El Nino that has hit the region, a previous News24 report said.
The development followed on from a prediction stating that the country’s 2015-2016 maize output would be a third lower than the previous year due to a severe drought that has hit the region.
According to a CNBC Africa report, Zambia’s maize harvest is reported to have dropped by 21 percent compared to the previous season and may drop by 30 percent by the end of the year. — News24.