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3-Food: Zambia lifts its ban on maize, GE maize still banned



------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Zambia lifts its ban on maize
SOURCE: Business Day, South Africa
        http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/world.aspx?ID=BD4A85399
DATE:   29 Aug 2005

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Zambia lifts its ban on maize

BLANTYRE -- The Zambian government has lifted a ban on maize imports
imposed to help its local growers, allowing businessmen to import about
200000 tons of grain in order to avert a food shortage, an official said
yesterday

However, the state, continues to refuse genetically modified maize.

"There is no food crisis as yet. This is just a precautionary measure,"
Agriculture Minister Mundia Sikatana said at the weekend.

Last week, the Zambian government said it would not allow maize imports
because the country had enough to deal with the looming food shortfall,
which has been caused by a partial drought.

Now it has lifted that ban but will still not allow imports of
genetically modified maize because the safety of modified maize to humans
and the environment had not been proven, the minister said. Sikatana said
the food shortages his country had been experiencing recently was caused
by some farmers hoarding stocks in expectation of higher prices.

Zambia has only 266000 tons of maize in its strategic national reserves
against the estimated requirement of 452000 tons, according to the Zambia
National Farmers Union.

Zambia recorded a food surplus last year and exported several thousand
tons of maize to neighbouring countries such as Angola, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Sapa-AFP


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