Zimbabwean Minister for Agriculture Joseph Made has said that millers would not be allowed to import genetically modified grains into the country despite food shortage being experienced presently in the country. According to reports, Zimbabwe needs at least 1.8 million tons of maize a year to feed its people and animals.
While speaking to journalists, Made said that biosafety laws will not be tampered with simply to allow the importation of genetically modified maize into the country after the government has on Tuesday launched a $1.5 billion for drought relief.
“When it comes to GMO you know the position of government is very clear, we do not accept GMO as we are protecting the environment from the grain point of view. So far, there are places where one can obtain non GMO grain in Zambia, South Africa as well as in the Ukraine”.
The minister stressed that the government will inspect all gain being imported into the country to make sure that it was not genetically modified. He also urged any grain millers that had not been given permits to import grain but wishes to do so,should approach him personally for assistance.
“Anyone wishing to import grain there has never been restrictions and the millers know that.”
According to New Zimbabwe, the Grain Millers Association had in December last year, written to the government asking for permission to import grain maize following reports that the country was left with only eight weeks of supplies.
It is estimated that about 3 million Zimbabweans, mostly in Masvingo, Matebeleland South and North and Midlands provinces, will need emergency food aid this year.
Speaking at a news conference in the state capital earlier this week, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said more than three million people are in dire need of food and water.