BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
GOVERNMENT should not entertain exports of soybeans at all costs especially at this moment, but instead the focus on exporting value added products, Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) Executive Manager, Dominic Chanda.
Mr Chanda said the poultry industry had grown in the recent past coupled with expansions and new investments in feed processing.
As a result, he said interview, the country needed all the soybeans produced to be used locally.
Mr Chanda also cautioned Government to be careful as it exported maize and soya beans to ensure that stock feed prices were stabilised.
Zambia is this year expected to record a fourth historic maize bumper harvest in 26 years estimated at 3.4 million tons, and soya beans is expected to increase by 47 percent from 281,389 tonnes the previous season.
“We need to secure the maize and soya beans we have produced and minimize exports to avoid the situation we faced last year. I am appealing to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries not to allow exports at this stage.
“If we start exporting early, we may have a shortage and the prices of stock feed will be hiked, thereby negatively affecting the small-scale poultry farmers who are growing chickens and this might affect the consumers,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda welcomed the maize price reduction indicating that this move would help cushion the price of stock feed and help revamp the livestock sector.
The Government through Food Reserve Agency has announced the flow price for maize for the 2020/21 marketing season which stand at K110 per 50 kgs bag.