Zambia bans maize exports over dry spell

Wednesday February 21 2024

Workers spreading maize to dry. Zambia says it has deployed defence personnel to guard all known smuggling routes. File Photo | Nation Media Group


The Zambian government on Tuesday announced a restriction on the export of maize and mealie meal (maize flour) due to a prolonged dry spell that could affect the harvest.

Minister of Agriculture Reuben Phiri said the restriction will only be lifted after a careful assessment of the next harvest.

“Owing to the prevailing situation, the government will continue to put the interest of the country above everything else. In this regard, it has restricted the export of maize grain and mealie meal,” the minister said.

Read: Zambia maize exports ban hurts DRC

He was delivering a ministerial statement in Parliament on the country's food security situation following the dry spell.

The government, he said, has since deployed defence personnel to guard all known smuggling routes, while security patrols and roadblocks are also being increased in districts prone to trafficking.


He, however, said the country is currently food secure, with about 800,000 metric tonnes of maize, which is enough to take the country beyond the next harvest.

In Zambia, 10 provinces have been affected by the prolonged dry spell.