WFP denies supplying infected maize to Zambia

Report
from Pan African News Agency
Published on 27 Dec 2002
Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) - The World Food Programme has refuted claims by the Zambian government that the UN agency recently supplied it with imported relief maize infected with a strange pest.
Officials in the Ministry of Agriculture charged that the maize stock supplied by the WFP this month had a strange pest, hitherto unknown in Zambia.

Agriculture minister Mundia Sikatana said on Thursday that the infected maize did not belong to government and the WFP was in a better position to give explanation about the pest.

"As far as government is concerned, we rejected that consignment of maize, and have nothing to do with it," Sikatana said.

But WFP information officer, Sibi Lawson said an inspection conducted by the agricultural coordination committee revealed that all the food which was brought in by WFP was free from any infection.

Lawson explained that the plant protection and quarantine certificate issued by the same committee gave WFP authority to distribute the maize.

"The certificate was issued on December 20 and thereafter the maize was distributed in Chipata (Eastern province). Our maize is free of any infection unless they are talking about maize which was not distributed by WFP," Lawson told PANA Friday.

Zambia has rejected genetically modified (GM) relief maize supplied by the US through WFP.

Pan African News Agency:

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