LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia plans to export 800,000 tonnes of white maize to neighbouring countries after producing its biggest ever harvest, leaving the southern African nation with a large surplus, the agriculture minister said on Monday.
Given Lubinda said on Hot FM Radio that Zambia had a surplus of over 1.1 million tonnes of white maize after its harvest rose by a third, to 3.3 million tonnes in the 2013/2014 (October-April) season compared with the previous season.
“I intend to actually sell probably 800,000 tonnes outside Zambia and only 200,000 tonnes in Zambia,” Lubinda said, without giving details of which countries would buy the maize.
The Zambian maize would be exported at 80 kwacha ($10) per 50 kg bag while local sales would be subsidised at 65 kwacha per 50 kg bag to keep maize meal prices down, Lubinda said.
“The government will not have any revenue loss because most of the maize will be exported at a higher price,” he said.
($1 = 7.6900 Zambian kwachas)