THE Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has called on Government to impose a ban on the export of maize bran, a large component in the manufacturing of stockfeed for dairy cattle.
The union has said milk production in the country has been adversely affected due to a shortage of the commodity which the local dairy farmers are failing to access.
ZNFU executive director Ndambo Ndambo and Copperbelt regional coordinator Michael Zulu confirmed the shortage of maize bran to the TIMES yesterday.
Mr Ndambo appealed to the Government to intervene in the impasse between farmers and millers over the supply of maize bran on the local market in order to allow the dairy farmers to adequately feed their cattle.
He said the normal practice was to ban the export of maize bran in the dry season so that there was enough stock on the local market.
"The Millers Association of Zambia issued a statement that there is enough maize bran but when you talk to the farmers they will tell you that they cannot find it.
"We are appealing to the millers who are hoarding the bran to release it so that farmers can access it," he said.
Mr Ndambo said if the millers were insisting that maize bran was available, there should also be no shortage of mealie meal because the bran was a by-product during the milling process.
He said maize bran was used in producing stockfeed, chicken feed and littering of chicken runs.
And Mr Zulu said he met with management officials at Antelope Milling in Luanshya who assured him that they had huge stocks of maize bran but wondered why it was not on the local market.
"The situation on the Copperbelt regarding maize bran shortage is critical. The farmers have been severely hit," he said.