•   Costas Const/los   12 May 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.