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Zambian maize output jumps 32%

In a follow up to a news item in last month’s THG wherein we reported that SA is currently importing yellow maize from Russia, it has been reported that Zambia has recorded a bumper maize crop, with a rise of more than 30% in production to log its biggest volume of grain on record.

Agriculture Minister Wylbus Simusaa said recently that maize output had risen by 32% to 3.3 million tons in 2013/2014 from 2.5 million tons in 2012/13. “This is the highest maize harvest recorded in Zambia’s history and provides us with the opportunity to adequately feed the country as well as export,” Simusaa said. “We plan to export slightly over 300 000 tons to Zimbabwe, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Kenya,” he concluded. It should be noted that, in Zambia, the planting season usually begins with the rains in October or November and harvesting is mostly completed by the end of April or May.

As Minister Simusaa had also reported that Zambia currently holds maize stocks estimated at 3.9 million tons after 597 000 tons were carried over from last year, perhaps SA should consider kicking the Russkies into touch and doing a few import deals a little closer to home. The prices may well be somewhat cheaper. After all, both countries are members of the AU and it would be a nice change for SA to see a few membership benefits instead of just dispatching “peace keeping missions” willy-nilly as part of our “obligations.”

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