Gov’t starts issuing maize export licenses

The Ministry of Trade has announced that it has started issuing Maize Export Licences with immediate effect.

The ministry’s Principal Secretary Christina Zakeyo, in a statement issued on Wednesday, says the decision has been taken by the government following an updated national food balance sheet as of 30th June, 2021.

Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Trade, Christina Zakeyo

The balance sheet indicates that the country is food sufficient with enough stocks to last until the next harvest.

“The government has therefore, opened window for export of 500, 000 metric tonnes of maize grain which is part of the surplus for 2020/2021 agricultural season harvest,” reads the statement in part.

The statement further says licenses will only be issued to exporters with proof of verifiable maize stocks from the previous agricultural season. The licences to be granted will have a validity period of 3 Months from the date of issue.

But an agricultural economist Tamani Nkhono Mvula has cautioned the government against being over-excited with the surplus maize the country has, stressing that the export has potential to create hunger in the country, if the export is not handled carefully.

Among others, the exporter will be required to undertake a commitment to inform the Ministry about the Export Proceeds received after 180 days from the date of export. Furthermore, the public is, hereby, reminded that under the Control of Goods Act (COGA), 2018, Maize is a controlled commodity, the export of which requires a licence.

“Therefore, Traders intending to export maize are requested to submit their applications for Maize Export Licence to the Ministry with the following supporting information: Physical address of the business and warehouses where the maize is stocked; Business Registration Certificate or Certificate of Incorporation; Business Residence Permit or Permanent Resident Permit for non-Malawians; Identification Document; and a letter of authority to export from the Ministry of Agriculture stating source of maize, quantity, and destination country.

“Government would like to assure the Nation that the exportation of Maize would not affect the food security situation of the country due to bumper Maize harvest for the 2020/2021 farming season following successful implementation of the Affordable Input Programme (AIP),” concludes the statement.

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