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Zambian farmers urge government to formalise exports to DR Congo

Farmers in the town of Chililabombwe in Zambias Copperbelt region have put pressure on the Zambian government to roll out a system that would facilitate formal export trade with DR Congo

The Chiliabombwe district has been rapidly expanding, with its vital purpose to enable efficient export trade between Zambia and the DR Congo, said Chililabombwe District administration officer Frank Siatwinda.

The minister of agriculture, Emmanuel Chenda, noted that there was a special need to formalise trade in maize and its by-products between Zambia and DR Congo, which both present huge market opportunities for their local business communities.

Both commercial and small scale farmers in the region have spent the last two months visiting government administrative offices to formalise the trade.

Two farmers in the Chiliabombwe region said it would benefit farmers like themselves and make economical sense to have maize produced in the district exported to DR Congo than being bought by the Food Reserve Agency and transported to various depots for storage.

"It is more economical and easy for the farmer to transport and sell their maize to DR Congo, than wait for the Food Reserve Agency, which is already over burdened," Siatwinda stated.