News and Information

NAB close maize beyond boarders (2004-10-14)
October 14, 2004

By Risco Lumamezi

THE Namibia Agronomic Board has closed the boarder business to the Caprivi producers and Katima residents who are taking advantages to import maize and maize meal from Zambia.

Ricky Lilami said in interview during the meeting held at Katima Mulilo recently, which was organised, by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development and the Namibia Agronomic Board.

The board has been spear heading farmers and millers to know their common goals on the price determinations of Maize and its markets.

Some Residents of Caprivi region have been buying their bags of maize meal in Zambia at Sesheke at a lower price.

According to Lilami, Vice Chairman of the Namibia Agronomic Board confirmed that the move came at the time that there is bumper harvest in Caprivi.

NAB is mandated by the act to close the boarders as from 1 May to October 1 of each year.
“We closed the boarders on 28 September and we will continue until next January when all producers will finish selling their maize pool,” said Lilami.

Local millers will be allowed to import maize from Zambia next year when maize will finish in the Caprivi and this is the first of its kind to happen in Namibia.

Lilami said millers would follow certain conditions before they import their maize into Namibia, which shall include the fumigation of maize and permits.

He warned people who import maize illegally not to do so.” Maize is very expensive compared to other countries in Africa,” said Lilami.

According to Daniel Chaka a maize producer at Muyako “we farmers in Caprivi we can feed Namibia if we are given tools to plough” he said.

Fred Mubonenwa a farmer of Musanga Area said, “Caprivi is the bread basket which needs farmers to get organised to forget about dependence” he further.

Local millers Essop Ahmed, of Rings Milling, and Suhail Rhamjee, the manager at Kamunu Wholesalers, confirmed that residents of Katima Mulilo, were not buying maize meal as they were getting it free from the government.

“We could grind meal if the government gives us a tender, but this is not happening because of the importing of WFP maize” said Ahmed, adding the price of maize in Caprivi is very high when compared to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Since the inception of the pool system in Caprivi, millers have been forced to reduce their work force due to the competition with the government pool, which awarded its milling to Namib Mills after a tender process.

Source: Caprivi Vision

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