April 18, 2005

150.000 mt maize shortage predicted

Zambia will this year experience a shortage of 150.000 metric tonnes of maize which Government will have to import. President Mwanawasa has revealed that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) still had 111.000 metric tonnes of maize in stock which would be expected to last for the next three months. He, however, said that the tonnage available excluded that which millers had stocked and that which had not yet been bought from farmers. According to Mwanawasa, the Government would not fail to import the deficit especially after having reached the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) completion point. "In 2002, there was hunger in the country and Government had rejected GMO maize from donors who predicted that a considerable number of people would die of hunger, but this did not happen and I can assure you that no one will die," he said. The President also charged that some opposition leaders had taken advantage of the drought and were now blaming Government. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)


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