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SA imports yellow maize


Of particular interest to maize farmers resident within THG’s distribution area, will be this little snippet which – as is so often the case with stories that are relevant to the agricultural communities – seems to have largely “flown under the radar” of larger, “city” newspapers.


It was reported recently that South Africa has, for the first time in at least a decade, imported yellow maize - from Russia. SA Grain Information Service (SAGIS) said on its website recently that SA had already taken delivery of 29 201 tons of grain. These are the first imports from Russia since 2003, according to the site. Evidently Russia had a record crop last year. Senwes analyst, Thys Grobbelaar, said that the imports were nonetheless “unexpected as Russia is, traditionally, a very small yellow-maize-producing country.”


Which, of course, begs the question that would immediately spring to the lips of the average beleaguered SA grain farmer. “Why, after decades of self-sufficiency as far as maize is concerned, is SA ‘suddenly’ having to import maize at all?” Could it possibly have anything to do with government bungling of numerous land issues, weak import/export tariffs, restrictive labour legislation, the persistent and cultivated “kill the boer” mentality that government conveniently continues to turn a “blind eye” to, or the sky-rocketing prices and production costs that have resulted in (in some areas in the country) seven out of ten farmers being forced off the land and out of business?

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