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ZNFU dismayed by CEDORA’s U-turn on export of 100,000 MT soya beans

• ZNFU and other stakeholders are on record favoring export of surplus production.
• Anything else besides this position is contradictory to Government policy.
• It is unfortunate that CEDORA is issuing contradictory statements.

Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has refuted sentiments by Crushers of Edible Oils Refiners Association (CEDORA) that exporting 100, 000 metric tonnes of soya beans will cause shortages in the country.
Union Public Relations Manager Calvin Kaleyi told Money FM News that the sentiments are misleading because CEDORA President Dr. Aubrey Chibumba, who made the said remarks, attended the stakeholders meeting and he did not advocate that domestic consumption of soyabeans is sitting at 421,000 Metric tonnes or that exporting the commodity will result in artificial shortages.
Mr. Kaleyi challenged Dr. Chibumba to substantiate his new position and the allegation that ZNFU rejected offers from CEDORA to buy 100,000 Metric tonnes of soyabeans.
“The Union and other stakeholders are on record favoring export of surplus production as per statement issued earlier where 100,000MT was established to be surplus and unanimously agreed to be available for export. Anything else besides this position is contradictory to Government policy and the signals which farmers have been receiving from the policy makers, including the highest office.”
“Why should anyone advocate to Government that they vary and micromanage the exportable surplus of soyabeans?” Policy consistency and certainty is good for the entire soyabeans value chain and above all will instill confidence for further investments in soyabeans production,” Mr. Kaleyi stated.
He said it was unfortunate that CEDORA is issuing contradictory statements that they can buy the entire 100,000 Metric tonnes of soya beans.
“Well, CEDORA should be buying what they need but not at the expense of deterring other buyers by pretending that they can buy everything or reducing exports volumes agreed by the stakeholders. Such selfish motives should not be entertained as this has potential to erode confidence in the soyabeans industry,” he added.
He further urged Government to be aware of the existence of cartels in the agricultural market space doing a disservice to farmers in the name of value addition, further stressing the need for a level playing field in crop marketing to enhance competition.
“Exporting of what is required in the export markets whether soya cake, soyabeans or stock feed should be encouraged and not curtailed as this will spur production.”
And when contacted, CEDORA President Dr. Aubrey Chibumba said members of the Association rejected the idea of exporting 100, 000 metric tonnes of soyabeans saying they can buy the whole amount without having to export.
Dr. Chibumba explained that he later informed ZNFU about the members’ position but the Union said it was too late to start having other consultative meetings, hence the decision by the Association to take this stance.
He said during the consultative meeting, CEDORA consulted the stakeholders that the Association felt the possible number of exports was 40, 000 metric tons and not 100, 000 metric but they did not listen.
“We also told them that last year we had 411, 000 metric tons production, 40, 000 of which was allowed for export, meaning that we consumed about 371, 000 metric tonnes and Poultry Association had asked for an additional 50, 000 metric tons meaning that national consumption was 421, 000 tons so how do you export 100, 000 tons, they didn’t want to listen to that. So when I informed my members that this is what the stakeholders meeting has resolved, they said they were not going to accept that.”
“I just conveyed the message, I did not agree to anything, I called up ZNFU President Mr. Zimba and I told him that my members have refused the export plan saying CEDORA can buy the whole 100, 000 metric tons of soya beans but ZNFU said it was too late we can’t go back and have meetings,” Dr. Chibumba explained.
According to Dr. Chibumba, there has been some sort of manipulation which has happened and this is not good for the strategic industry like this one.
“What’s important is that we must have a value chain that where everybody in the value chain is supported,” he stated.

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