A Kenyan delegation is in Zambia to seal a deal with government on the import of maize, says Finance Minister Felix Mutati. According to Mutati the delegation is a combination of grain buying associations in the east-African nation.
Zambia registered a bumper harvest of 3.6 million tons of maize, enough to meet national consumption, with an excess of 1.4 million tons earmarked for export.
Mutati touted the presence of the Kenyan grain buyers as heralding Zambia’s diversified growth prospects.
“This shows that the economic fundamentals that government put in place are beginning to brighten up the line of its vision of transforming Zambia through agriculture, mining and manufacturing as the main growth sectors,” he said.
This week, government reversed the 10% export duty on raw maize, a decision which caused a major outcry among local producers. The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), however welcomed the move, saying it will make its grain competitive regionally.
Mutati, who did not disclose the quantities the Kenyan delegation will buy, said transport is one of the major factors that will determine the export price to Kenya. Projections show that maize export prices will hold between US$280 – US$300 per ton.
On Zambia’s overall growth, Mutati said the economy will this year grow with 4.5%, up from the initial projection of 3.9%.
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