STATE House has assured that the country will remain food-secure and that in the event of poor crop yield following the El Nino effects the country is currently experiencing, Government would import food from South America to ameliorate the hunger situation.
Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda said it was unfortunate that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema had embarked on the maize politics on matters President Edgar Lungu did not talk about.
Mr Chanda said Zambia had 930 metric tonnes of maize stocked by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) which was sufficient to last the country to August this year and that if the country was not going to experience crop failure, there would be no need to consider importing the staple food.
Mr Chanda said should the need to import maize arise, Government had put in place measures to ensure that maize was imported three months in advance and that the Ministry of Finance and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) were closely working together in averting hunger in the country.
Mr Chanda told journalists yesterday at State House that President Lungu had given directives that Zambia should start preparing the importation of maize following the assessment of the rain pattern and the possibility of crop failure.
He said 688 metric tonnes of maize from FRA had been committed to strategic millers on contract who would be able to mill the maize and sell the mealie meal at a price that would be affordable to Zambians.
He stated that those who were opposed to the importation of maize should provide alternatives instead of attacking President Lungu by playing politics on the country’s staple food.
“Given the on-going assessment on the rain pattern and the possibility of crop failure, there is a possibility that the country may not have adequate rain. President Lungu has directed all relevant stakeholders to prepare for the importation of maize from South America.”