Zambia's decision to buy maize from Rhodesia, announced in July, marks an important shift in trade relations between the two countries.
Zambia's decision to buy maize from Rhodesia, announced in July, marks an important shift in trade relations between the two countries. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda said the "painful decision" to import Rhodesian grain had been taken because of the cost to the Zambian economy of imports from further afield.
For Rhodesia the decision means a significant breach in the sanctions wall, and a new chance to tell in a valuable local market closed since Rhodesia declared unilateral independence in 1965.
At Lion's Den, on the main road from Salisbury to the Zambian border, Rhodesia's Grain Marketing Board is building a depot to test, process and bag the grain, which will be brought to this point in bulk from farms all over the country. At present only bagged grain is being handled.
The first lorry left the depot on 11 August carrying the first of the 1 1/2 million bags of maize which Zambia has contracted to buy. Today (12 August) it was announced in Lusaka that Rhodesian hauliers would be permitted to transport up to half the consignment; the rest must be carried in Zambian-owned trucks.
SYNOPSIS: At Lion's Den, Rhodesia, tons of maize has been arriving from farms all over the country on the first stage of its garnet to Zambia. It is the first time Zambia has imported any of its staple grain for its white-ruled neighbour across the Zambesi river, since Rhodesia declared independence in 1965.
Several times since then, Rhodesia has offered to supply maize to relieve Zambi of the heavy cost of transporting the grain from more distant sources, but in most cases the Zambian Government has no even replied. For Rhodesia the Zambian Government's decision is an important breach in the sanctions wall; it is also a chance to recapture a valuable market on its own doorstep. Since the decision was announced last month, thousands of bags of maize have been arriving at the Lion's Den depot, on the main road from Salisbury into Zambia. Rhodesia has had record crop this year.
At the moment, only ready-bagged mazie o??? be handled at the Lion's Den depot, but the Grain Marketing Board is building a series of silos where bulk grain can be handled and tested for quality before being put into bags. The grain is checked for moisture, size and grade, and only the top quality maize is accepted for export.
The decision to buy Rhodesian grain was painful one, according to the Zambian President, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. It was taken because of the heavy cost of grain imports from more distant countries. Maize is the staple diet of Zambia's four million people, and nearly three million bags of it were imported last year. The suppliers included the United States, South Africa, Tanzania, Angola and Malaw??? For the current year, Zambia has contracted to take 1 1/2 million bags of Rhodesian maize, and agreed that up to half can be carried on Rhodesian lorries This week the first truck-load from the Lion's Den depot started on its journey to Zambia.