WCC requests to export surplus wheat


THE Wheat Commodity Committee (WCC) has written to the Government to request for the export of 10,000 tonnes surplus wheat this year.

The 10,000 tonnes of wheat is from the total 260,000 tonnes that the country produced during the 2012/13 farming season.

WCC draws membership from the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) and the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ).

ZNFU media liaison officer Calvin Kaleyi said in an interview yesterday that during a stakeholders’ meeting convened by the three parties recently, it was resolved that a controlled approach to the export of wheat be allowed to enhance stability on the local market.

Mr Kaleyi said it was ascertained that 97,765 tonnes of wheat stocks were available in the country, resulting in an exportable surplus of about 20,000 metric tonnes from the 2012 season.

He said the stakeholders agreed that only 10,000 tonnes of wheat should for now be exported subject to reviewing the situation in November this year, when a further 10, 000 tonnes is expected to be exported.

“The decision considered the fact that the new crop yet to be harvested would become available by October, the fact that fresh wheat sometimes cannot be milled immediately and also that the wheat industry has continued to grow,” Mr Kaleyi said.
He said the meeting also reviewed wheat flour export trends, which showed that it would continue normally despite the exercise being made difficult because due to security controls at border posts.

“In trying to stop exports of maize and mealie meal, wheat flour is sometimes mistaken for mealie meal, hence being subjected to delays in clearance at the borders,” he said.

The stakeholders appealed to the Government to find ways of facilitating wheat flour exports to access regional markets efficiently, thereby encouraging more wheat production by Zambian farmers.

Zambia exported a total of 20,792.25 tonnes of wheat flour between September 2012 and April 2013.