Bran shortages have hit Zambian dairy farmers, triggering calls to curtail maize exports to help meet the national demand for the commodity. Maize is a major component in the production of bran.
Dairy farmers said maize exports coupled with millers’ preference to export bran has made the industry vulnerable to shortages and higher prices. “The scarcity of maize bran has pushed up prices,” said a Chisamba commercial farmer who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Several other farmers also echoed the frustration of getting maize bran on the local market. The farmers had expected prices for bran to fall because of the bumper harvest but the opposite had happened.
According to them, prices had in the last few months gone up by as much as 15%.
There is high demand for bran in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other countries in the sub-region.
The Dairy Association of Zambia (DAZ) said restricting maize exports would help to address the current shortage.
Previously, the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) had defended the export of bran, saying that local demand had declined due to good rains that gave abundant natural pastures to livestock farmers.
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