Photo: Daniel Acker Bloomberg
INTERNATIONAL –Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding for the export of maize and maize products to the neighboring country.

The deal involves the export of some 600,000 tonnes of maize and mealie-meal to the DRC and will come into effect next year.

Michael Katambo, Zambia's Minister of Agriculture said at the signing ceremony that the deal was aimed at ensuring a well-structured trade regime between the two countries in maize and other commodities following increasing levels of smuggling.

He said the exports under the agreement will commence in 2020 since Zambia currently does not have enough maize stocks to accommodate exports.

 According to him, the agreement will create opportunities for Zambia to expand its maize and mealie-meal market, earn foreign exchange and capture statistics for planning.

It will also allow the DRC to have a consistent supply of maize, mealie-meal and other identified commodities and address the concerns regarding the export restrictions, he added.

Jean Lucien Bussa, DRC Minister of National Trade and Commerce said the two countries need to engage more in trading with each other because they belong to the same regional blocks.

XINHUA