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Zambian millers urge government to impose higher raw maize export levies

The Millers association of Zambia (MAZ) has urged the government to impose a higher levy on export of raw maize to promote job creation.

“Imposing a higher levy from the current 20% to as much as 50% would promote value creation in the maize industry and translate into more job creation,” MAZ President Andrew Chintala told africanfarming.com in an interview in Lusaka.

Minister of finance Felix Mutati in his maiden budget speech announced that government would no longer restrict export on maize products but will impose a levy of 20% on maize in its raw form.

According to the government export bans and the fixing of prices above market rates generated uncertainty that ultimately affected the production of the staple food.

“A steeper levy on unprocessed maize would encourage traders to process the maize so that it could be exported as a finished product, which would in turn generate the much need foreign exchange,” Chintala added.

The millers’ body observed that without a Statutory Instrument (SI) being put in place, there was nothing to translate the finance minister’s pronouncement into practice or law.

“As matters stand there is no law to back up the pronouncement until a statutory instrument is signed,” Chintala noted.

Government has touted agriculture and manufacturing as key drivers that will support its economic recovery plan dubbed “Zambia Plus”.

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