The Zambian government will no longer impose maize export restrictions as it gears to promote grain trade in the region. Last month, government lifted a moratorium on the export of raw and processed maize which was in place for 18 months, but then immediately imposed a 10% export duty on raw grain.
This put local producers in double jeopardy: deflated local demand arising from over-supply and unattractive export markets. “We want to give the assurance that there will be no more export bans and no 10% export tax and we are going to simplify of export procedures,” said Finance Minister Felix Mutati.
Mutati was speaking at a consultative forum on grain trade consisting of Kenyan and Zambian grain traders. The Kenyan grain buyers are in the country to buy maize.
“We are aware that in the past the issue of policy and documentation caused challenges and it is our intention to deal with these issues to enable buyers and sellers take advantage of the vast trade opportunities for grain,” he said.
According to Mutati, streamlining logistical and documentation processes will be the key to unlocking the vast potential for grain trade between Zambian and the rest of the region.
He will in the coming week engage his counterparts in Kenya to ensure logistics and border control measures line up for smooth trade relations.
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