Patriots for Economic Progress leader Sean Tembo

SEAN Tembo says his party has noted with consternation the announcement by the Minister of Agriculture that government has authorised the export of 83,000 metric tonnes of maize.

In a statement, Tembo, the Patriotc for Economic Progress leader, stated that the government had authorised the export of 83,000 metric tonnes of maize when it has refused to lift the ban on the export of mealie-meal.

Tembo stated that the export of mealie-meal was better than maize exports because mealie-meal involves value addition and creation of jobs in Zambia.

He stated that before government could consider exporting the said 83,000 metric tonnes of maize, it should have first lifted the ban on the export of mealie-meal.

“We believe that there is no adequate coordination between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, hence the disjointed nature of government policy,” Tembo stated.

Further, Tembo stated that he was also aware that given the current governance system, the person responsible for coordinating the activities and policies of different government ministries was the Republican President.

“It is for this reason that we wish to appeal to President Lungu to ensure that he makes good use of Cabinet meetings to align government policy in a consistent and effective manner, so that we do not have conflicting policies coming out of his Government,” Tembo stated.

He appealed to government to quickly finalise the calculations of surplus maize and related crops from the 2019/2020 farming season so that the export market can be quickly opened and local farmers can have an opportunity to earn a return on their hard work from the past farming season.

Tembo stated that the government’s current approach of announcing export quotas on a piece meal basis, such as the 83,000 metric tonnes announced last week by the Minister of Agriculture would only bring about confusion, corruption and inherently disadvantage the farmers who are anxious to export some of their crops.

“It is on the basis of the above that we wish to call upon President Lungu to take his job seriously and ensure that him and his ministers give us proper and timely guidance in terms of this year’s crop marketing season,” Tembo stated.

He noted that the PF and its government already failed farmers in terms of timely delivery of farming inputs.

“Now that farmers have managed to produce a bumper harvest on their own, let government not frustrate them again by preventing farmers from exploiting the export market for their agricultural produce,” stated Tembo.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here