Zambian government says it has the capacity to supply 1.3 million metric tonnes of maize to the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to solve their maize deficit. The Acting Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Moses Mawere, says the government has started to improve the trade agreements between the two countries.
Mr Mawere says the countries are going to sign a Memorandum of understanding – MOU – which will contribute to the two-sided trade of agriculture products like maize and mealie meal. He says the draft document of the MOU will be ready and shared with the DRC partners by the 10th of July this year.
Mr Mawere was giving a speech in Ndola after he had held a meeting with DRC Katanga Province governor of Haut Jacques Katwe.
Mr Katwe reveals that the DRC is counting on Zambia to help them with strengthening their food security by exporting maize and mealie meal. He further notices that the MOU is going to stop the illegal export of maize such as smuggling.
At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Songowayo Zyambo, says Zambia has enough maize to put on export and fulfill the local consumption. He says the country is considering ways of investing in the maize production in the Northern part of Zambia to correspond to the increasing demand of the product.
Moreover, the Copperbelt Minister, Japhen Mwakalombe, says there is need to improve trade between Zambia and the DRC. Mr Mwakalombe made this statement during a visit to his office made by DRC Katanga province Governor Jacques Katwe and his delegation, adding that at this point of time there was a lot of smuggling taking place between the two countries.
Mr Mwakalombe urged the Katanga Governor to cooperate with his office to strengthen trade links between Zambia and the DRC.
Mr Katwe also mentioned that the province had come up with a policy dedicated to promote agriculture in Katanga and in the whole country.
He concluded that besides purchasing mealie meal from Zambia there is need to develop agriculture in order to increase the production of maize and other agricultural products.