Parly Wants Maize Sale to Zim Halted
Parliament has asked the ministry of Agriculture to stop Agricultural Development and Marketing Cooperation (Admarc) from selling maize to Zimbabwe to until a comprehensive assessment is done to establish if the country has enough maize in stock.
Chairperson for the Agriculture and Irrigation Committee of Parliament Sameer Suleman made the call on Wednesday after meeting officials from Admarc who were summoned to explain the maize sale, progress on this year’s maize purchases, preparation for the next growing season and the suspension of general manager Rhino Chiphiko.
Suleman feels the deal was rushed expressing worry that the country may not have enough maize to start exporting.
“Our main concern is that currently as a country we do not have enough maize to feed our people. We need to be sure, because we could export the maize now and start importing tomorrow.” Said Suleman.
Admarc board chairperson Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi told us they have taken note of the suggestion.
“We will report to our seniors at the ministry of Agriculture what the committee has suggested because we cannot make the decision on our own.”
Kusamba Dzonzi however told the committee that Admarc’s decision came after consultations with ministry of Agriculture who assured them that the country has enough maize.
He added it is also expensive to keep the maize as the grain trader spends K300 million per month on storage.
In an interview, Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Gracian Lungu told us the ministry has already written Admarc to suspend the process following public outcry.
“We have advised Admarc to suspend the sales of maize for now while we are also conducting a fresh assessment of availability of maize across the country.” Said Lungu.
On Tuesday Admarc board chairperson said they were proceeding with plans to sell 100,000 metric tonnes of maize beginning this month to Grain Miles Association of Zimbabwe at K22 billion.