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Allow maize bran export, Millers appeal to government, Zambia
Allow maize bran export, Millers appeal to government, Zambia

Allow maize bran export, Millers appeal to government, Zambia


From - Nov 22nd, 10:01

Millers are grappling with stockpiles of maize bran after Government halted the export of the commodity in September this year. 

The situation has been compounded by the nose-diving local demand for the by-product of maize meal with the onset of the wet season.

Government, through Statutory Instrument (SI) 85 of 2013, banned the exports of maize and its products including bran to satisfy the local demand.

But now, Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) president Allan Sakala says that stockpiles of the commodity have now flooded the mills, a situation that is affecting the members’ operations.

He said in an interview in Ndola earlier this week that the current situation could lead to cuts in mealie-meal production if not checked and appealed to the Government to allow members export the bran.

Bran is produced as a 10 per cent by-product of mealie-meal.

“Bran is not usually bought around this time of the year primarily because the farmers are dependent on natural pasture for their livestock to feed, and this has led to stockpiles of the commodity at our mills.

“So the more mealie-meal you produce, the more bran you will also produce because both of these commodities are produced simultaneously,” he said.

Mr Sakala said government should consider reviewing SI 85 and tailor it in such a way that exports for bran would be allowed during the wet season, at least.

MAZ also has forward contracts for bran supply pending with other countries in the sub-region.

MAZ executive director Harrison Banda supported his president explaining that during the dry season, the local farmers often resolve not to export the commodity because demand on the local market is high.

“During the rainy season, demand for mealie-meal reaches its peak, while in the dry season, demand for the same is low. In the same rainy season, demand for bran is at its lowest, leaving producers with excess bran desiring to be exported,” Mr Banda said.

When contacted, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Robert Sichinga said the government was currently reviewing the concerns raised by the millers.

“We have noted all the concerns as registered by the stakeholders and active steps will be taken towards addressing the issue,” Mr Sichinga said.

Copyright © 2013 Times of Zambia: The Official Website, All Rights Reserved 

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