Govt says Zambia is food secure


Zambia is food secure and becoming one of the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) not affected by the regional disaster, says deputy agriculture minister Maxas Ngonga.

Mr Ngonga said in an interview that Zambia was safe and sound in food and it was for that reason Government banned the exportation of the grain to ensure all the national storages were secured.

“The Government has banned the export of grain and it will not allow anyone to export until September, after ensuring that we have enough maize in stock,” he said.

Mr Ngonga explained that Zambia should have enough stock and ensure food security before any exportation to other countries.

He said the Government was aware of the crisis in the SADC region but that Zambia was secure.

However, Zambia produced a record of 2.7 million tonnes of maize in the 2015/ 2016 farming season and recorded a net surplus of soya beans, becoming the only country in the SADC region to be food secure.

So far, five SADC member States Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe had already declared national drought emergencies.

And SADC was yet to declare a regional disaster and launch a regional humanitarian appeal, in response to the devastating El-Niño-induced drought which had affected an estimated 40 million people across the SADC region.

SADC chairperson Dr Seretse Ian Khama said he would declare a regional disaster and launch a community appeal for humanitarian and recovery support amounting to US$2.7 billion.

South Africa has already declared a drought emergency in eight of its nine provinces, while Mozambique declared a 90-day institutional red alert for some southern and central areas.

The SADC region was experiencing a devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El Niño which had negatively affected the livelihoods and the quality of lives across the region.

And SADC has projected the peak of the food insecurity from October, 2016 to March, 2017.

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