•   Costas Const/los   18/07/2016 11:14

    KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka

    THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) says it has bought 90,000 bags of maize, each weighting 50kgs, since the crop marketing season opened on Tuesday. The target for this season is 1 million metric tonnes.FRA executive director Chola Kafwabulula said in an interview yesterday that: “We have been buying maize from across the country for the last two days and have managed to buy 90,000 bags so far. My only appeal to the farmers is that they should quickly clean their maize to avoid wastage of time at the depots.”Mr Kafwabulula said most of the maize has been bought from small-scale farmers while commercial farmers are still shelling their produce in readiness for delivery to FRA depots.“Traditionally, the peak period is August and September. A check into most villages confirmed that most large-scale farmers are still shelling their maize due to the quantities,” he said

  •   Costas Const/los   12/05/2016 08:40

    FORUM for Democratic Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi has urged farmers to take advantage of the looming maize shortage in the region to grow more maize for export.

    Ms Nawakwi said local farmers could earn more money by expanding their maize production, because the domestic and regional markets were ready for Zambian maize products.

    She said that the expected poor crop performance in many neighbouring countries would result in further demand for the commodity, which called for small-scale and commercial farmers to consider planting more maize.

    Ms Nawakwi said this when she featured on a Muvi Television programme dubbed ‘The Assignment’ on Sunday.

    “Growing the agriculture sector is the most viable way of ending rural poverty because most rural households are engaged in some form of agricultural activities,” Ms Nawakwi said.She said increased maize production would also result in stable and reduced Mealie meal prices.

    The FDD president urged members of Parliament in drought-prone areas to device alternative water sources such as sinking boreholes to help farmers grow maize and pasture for animals.

    Ms Nawakwi said poor rainfall and adverse weather conditions did not mean God had forsaken Zambia but called for people to be innovative and find solutions to the challenges.

    Meanwhile, Ms Nawakwi said that the defection of Mulenga Sata to the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) poses a threat to national security.

    She said this was because Mr Sata had recently served as State House minister who was privy to classified State meetings and it was not known what he could do with the information he had.

    Ms Nawakwi said it would be difficult for the UPND to fight corruption because the party had embraced corrupt people.

    She urged voters not to be deceived by politicians who spoke the loudest but to scrutinise every candidate contesting the 2016 general elections in order for them to make informed decisions.

  •   Costas Const/los   05/05/2016 08:43

    By Chatula Kangali

    Small scale millers on the Copperbelt have increased prices of maize bran by over 100 per cent due to the increased cost of production.

    Maize bran is a by- product of maize mainly used as an alternative animal feed by most livestock farmers in the country.

    According to the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) statement on their website, the price of maize bran has been increased from K15 to K40 for a 50 Kilogramme bag.

    Livestock farmers have however bemoaned the increased price of maize bran which would increase the cost of production further.

    "The ever-escalating cost of livestock feed has become a source of concern mainly among poultry and dairy farmers on the Copperbelt with many considering to halt production.

    The cost of production has become very high due to increased feed prices which now range between K230 to K300 per 50Kg bag," read the statement.

    The farmers have urged Government to engage millers to consider adjusting the prices downwards, since the main ingredient which is maize, in feed formulation, was locally sourced.

  •   Costas Const/los   05/05/2016 08:42

    THE 2015/2016 crop forecasting survey has revealed that the country will record an increased maize harvest, Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda has said.

    Mr Lubinda told Parliament in a ministerial statement yesterday that the forecast indicated an output of 2,873,052 tonnes, an increase of 9.73 percent from the 2,618,221 tonnes produced last year.

    “The national food balance sheet for the 2016/2017 marketing season based on the crop forecasting survey shows that the country has produced sufficient maize for both human consumption and industrial use. “The country also has a maize carry-over stock amounting to 667.524 tonnes as at May 1, 2016,” Mr Lubinda said.

    He said of the carry-over stock, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was holding 360,648 tonnes, the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) 207,771, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) 36,701 while small and medium scale farmers held 38,751 tonnes. Mr Lubinda said when the maize carry-over stock from last season is added to the maize production for the 2015/2016 agricultural season, the total supply of maize available for the 2016/2017 marketing season is 3,540,577 tonnes.

    “For the current population, the food balance sheet shows that the total maize required for human consumption, industrial use and other commitments amounts to 2,887,810 tonnes.

    “The total maize requirements include an anticipated national strategic reserve stock of 500,000 tonnes to be held by FRA and when the total maize requirements are subtracted from the total availability of the crop, the country has recorded a maize surplus of 634,681 tonnes,” he said.

    Mr Lubinda, who reiterated that the country was food secure, also announced anticipated improved yield for other crops including; rice, sweet potatoes, wheat, sorghum and groundnuts while that of millet and tobacco will reduce.

  •   Costas Const/los   14/03/2016 12:01

    Posted in News on March 14, 2016 by Web EditorCATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka

    ZAMBIA National Service (ZNS) Commandant Nathan Mulenga is optimistic that the country will record good crop yields in areas that have received adequate rainfall.And Lieutenant General Mulenga has attributed the increasing number of children begging on the streets to lack of care by parents.General Mulenga told journalists on Saturday that he is confident that the country will have something to talk about in terms of crop yields despite the poor rainfall recorded in some areas.“There have been these adverse weather patterns, which have affected agriculture in some parts of the country. But we don’t have to worry much because I am assured that we will have very good crop harvest in areas that have received good rains,” he said.Gen Mulenga also said the road project which President Lungu assigned to ZNS is progressing well.He, however, said at the moment, works appear to have stalled because of the heavy rains.“I must say that we started a little bit late because the distribution of road machines started in October when we were just getting into the rainy season, but we did not wait,” Gen Mulenga said.He has assured the nation that ZNS is on top of things and is equal to the task.And Gen Mulenga said children run away from their homes because their parents neither have time for them nor attend to their needs.He said this during the wedding of Kasiku Simenda and Brian Sosala.Mr Sosala is the son of former Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Edward Sosala while Ms Simenda is the daughter of former Zambia’s High Commissioner to Namibia Francis Simenda.“Stories of a parent seriously assaulting a child over just a cob of maize or nshima are abound. Parents failing to send their children to school even when they can afford is clear to see,” he said.

    Gen Mulenga appealed to civil society organisations to help sensitise communities on the importance of children as custodians of the future.

  •   Costas Const/los   14/03/2016 11:56

    Published On March 6, 2016 » 993 Views» By Bennet Simbeye » Uncategorized

    By STEVEN ZANDE -TWENTY-EIGHT trucks, each laden with 1,200 bags of maize worth US$270,000, have been intercepted and are marooned at Mwami Border in Eastern Province.The trucks that did not have export permits have been marooned for three weeks.



    The development was brought to light yesterday when Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda visited the border post after being alerted by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) officials.The border’s station manager Rector Muhau said the trucks belonging to a company known as NWK Commodities were impounded after failure by the drivers to produce valid documentation to allow them transport the commodity across to Malawi.He said last year, Government classified maize as a controlled commodity, meaning any export of the commodity had to be accompanied by an export permit that was given by the Ministry of Agriculture.Mr Lubinda said it was unfortunate that, while Government provided maize to millers for local consumption, some millers were exporting some of that maize.He said that Government would not allow illegal maize and mealie-meal exports at the expense of the Zambian people.Mr Lubinda said that any miller found exporting the commodity to neighboring countries risked having their contract terminated and faced a two-year blacklist.“We don’t want to see the price of mealie-meal go beyond the reach of Zambians because people are exporting the commodity to neighboring countries at exorbitant prices,” he said.The team, which comprised ZRA boss Berlin Msiska, Food Reserve Agency (FRA) chief executive officer, Chola Kafwabulula and other Government officials also inspected a warehouse licensed under cement trade but packed with more than 400 bags of the Champion brand mealie-meal.Documentation, which was recovered after the owner failed to show up when he was summoned, indicated that the maize had already been sold in Malawian Kwacha and was just awaiting transportation into Malawi.Mr Lubinda instructed the Eastern Province administrative structures through Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo to ensure that the impounded maize did not leave the border until investigations were concluded.He said that it was unacceptable that mealie-meal from Lusaka could be transported to Mwami when Petauke, Chipata and Katete, were among other places that were experiencing a shortage of the commodity.Mr Lubinda said Cabinet would today table the matter to determine if there was need to readjust the policy governing maize export.Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni speaking people said Government should ban the export of maize by some traders who were in the practice of exporting the commodity at the expense of the local population.

  •   Costas Const/los   14/03/2016 11:55


    THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) yesterday busted another maize smuggling scam in which eight people of Lusaka attempted to steal grain from an FRA storage depot at Mwembeshi in Lusaka’s light industrial area.The suspects targeted to steal 200×50 kilogramme (kg) bags worth K30,000Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda has warned that Government will not relent in bringing culprits involved in maize smuggling to justice.The eight suspects recently connived with security personnel manning the establishment with a scheme to steal the grain and sell the consignment to the outside market.However, alert officers informed the police about the act which was planned for yesterday morning and this led to the attempted theft being thwarted.A check at the scene by a Times of Zambia crew yesterday revealed that the eight men were arrested while loading a five-tonne light track with the consignment.At the time of apprehending the suspects, the truck had been loaded with 80×50 kg bags of maize which had since been seized by the police who also impounded the vehicle.Lusaka Province police chief Nelson Phiri said the suspects were arrested when the police pounced on them after being notified by guards who were guarding the premises.He said police had since launched investigations into the matter to establish the whereabouts of the suspected group leader.“The FRA guards were approached by a man who offered them a considerable amount of money if they allowed him to steal maize from the shed on an agreed day.“However, the guards tricked this man and informed the police about the plan which was interrupted this morning by our protective unit,” he said.FRA chief executive officer Chola Kafwabulula, in an interview yesterday, regretted the incident and re-sounded a warning that the agency would not take maize theft and smuggling lightly.He said yesterday’s incident was serious because it was creating an impression that Government was not sincere about the current food security status.“The agency is treating smuggling of maize and its products seriously because if left unchecked, the vice could create an artificial mealie-meal shortage in the country.“FRA has instituted new measures such as random patrols all aimed at capturing the culprits,” he said.Mr Lubinda, in a separate interview, restated the warning that maize smuggling would not be condoned.“Government is closely monitoring the activities in the maize industry and let me assure the nation that people attempting to smuggle maize will be met by the long arm of the law. Let me also assure the nation that there is no cause for panic as the country is food secure,” he said.Source: http://www.herald.co.zw/zambia-impounds-28-maize-trucks/

  •   Costas Const/los   14/03/2016 11:54

    THE current food deficit the Southern Africa region is facing has resulted into the smuggling of maize from Zambia into some neighbouring countries by some unscrupulous individuals.

    This unfortunate development demonstrates the seriousness of the food deficit and there is need for Zambia to secure its stocks for the ‘rainy day’.Yesterday, the Zambia Revenue Authority reportedly seized assorted brands of mealie-meal worth K8,000 which was about to be exported to Zimbabwe, at the Victoria Falls border in Livingstone.Last week, the ZRA impounded 28 trucks laden with maize destined for Malawi at the Mwami border post.Government has banned the export of maize against the prediction that the country’s harvest for the 2015/2016 season would be a third lower because of the drought that has hit the region.With the ban in place, the commodity is now classified as controlled and one who wants to export it should obtain a permit, failure to which the action amounts to smuggling.While Government wants to maintain its good neighbourliness in the region, there is a recognition that it has the first responsibility to its citizens and measures like the banning of the export of maize are only meant to ensure there is enough food for the country.We have time and time again seen Government allow the export of maize to, say, countries like Zimbabwe but this is done when the country’s reserves are enough for both local consumption and export.Even if there are financial gains to be made, any caring Government would not leave its citizens stranded and it is in this vein that it is doing everything to ward off starvation in the country.It is therefore disappointing that there are some elements who are bent on undoing Government’s sincere intentions aimed at safeguarding food security for its citizens.These incidences of smuggling maize or mealie-meal undermine Government efforts and they should be dealt with severely, given the possibility of a poor harvest.We expect citizens to be responsible and work alongside Government, but if they fail to adhere to these regulations, then the long arm of the law should bring them back on track.We commend the ZRA officers for their work in busting the covert activities of smuggling.We urge them to always be on the lookout for such activities.We implore very caring Zambians not to be part of such activities so that we do not suffer the consequences of insufficient food stocks. We should all observe the export ban.Source : Daily Mail - https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=61876

  •   Costas Const/los   23/10/2015 16:18

    Promotion for the Sun FM Anniversary give aways, comes alive from 17th October to 31st October, 2015 !!! Win 6 bags of Antelope Mealie Meal every day till 31st. Its a 15-day give away madness !!! All Copperbelt Provinces including Kapiri & Kabwe can participate! Are you ready to win? Tune in to Sun Fm 88,5 !