Zambian and Ugandan Farmers Grow Yields Three Fold With Drought-Tolerant Maize

Zambia’s vice-president has recently called to reduce maize dominance and increase crop and diet diversification in his country. The reality is that maize is and will remain a very important food crop for many eastern and southern African countries.

Diet preferences and population growth mean that it is imperative to find solutions to increase maize production in these countries, but experts forecast 10 to 30% reduction in maize yields by 2030 in a business-as-usual scenario, with projected temperature increases of up to 2.7 degrees by 2050 and important drought risks.

Knowing the importance of maize for the food security of countries like Zambia, it is crucial to help maize farmers get better and more stable yields under erratic and challenging climate conditions.

To address this, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and its partners have been developing hundreds of new maize varieties with good drought tolerance across sub-Saharan Africa. Stakeholders in the public research and African seed sectors have collaborated through the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project and the Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) initiative to develop drought-tolerant seed that also incorporates other qualities, such as nutritional value and disease resistance.

A groundbreaking impact study six years ago demonstrated that drought-tolerant maize significantly reduced poverty and food insecurity, particularly in drought years. A new study from CIMMYT and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) in the main maize growing areas of Zambia confirms that adopting drought-tolerant maize can increase yields by 38% and reduce the risks of crop failure by 36%.

Over three quarters of the rain-fed farmers in the study experienced drought during the survey. These farming families of 6 or 7 people were cultivating 4 hectares of farmland on average, half planted with maize.

Another study on drought-tolerant maize adoption in Uganda estimated also good yield increases and lower crop failure risks by 26 to 35%. Drought-tolerant maize has a transformational effect. With maize farming becoming less risky, farmers are willing to invest more in fertilizer and other inputs and plant more maize.

However, taking the decision of adopting new farm technologies in a climate risky environment could be a daunting task. Farmers may potentially gain a lot but, at the same time, they must consider downside risks. As Gertrude Banda, a lead farmer in eastern Zambia, put it, hybrid seeds have a cost and when you do not know whether rains will be enough “this is a gamble.” In addition to climate uncertainty, farmers worry about many other woes, like putting money aside for urgent healthcare, school fees, or cooking nutritious meals for the family.

An additional hurdle to adoption is that farmers may not know all the options available to cope with climate risks. While 77% of Zambia households interviewed said they experienced drought in 2015, only 44% knew about drought-tolerant maize. This unequal access to knowledge and better seeds, observed also in Uganda, slows adoption of drought-tolerant maize. There, 14% of farmers have adopted drought-tolerant maize varieties. If all farmers were aware of this technology, 8% more farmers would have adopted it.

Because farmers are used to paying for cheap open-pollinated varieties, they are only willing to pay half of the hybrid market price, even though new hybrids are performing very well. Awareness campaigns on the benefits of drought-tolerant maize could boost adoption among farmers. According to the same study, the potential for scaling drought-tolerant maize could raise up to 47% if drought-tolerant varieties were made available at affordable prices at all agro-dealers. Several approaches could be tested to increase access, such as input credit or subsidy schemes.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], Jen Theodore [2].

Uganda: When Kenyan Immigration Officials Almost Deported Me

It was not my mistake yet officials of Kenya’s Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons almost deported me to “teach me a lesson”.

It was mid-morning early this month when I arrived at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport on a domestic flight.

Passenger baggage was scanned and we showed our IDs to an immigration official, who appeared to be past middle age. She flipped the pages of my passport. She flipped some more. She looked at me. Then flipped again. I was beginning to hold up the queue.

The official asked why my passport did not have an entry visa stamp. I said I had no idea whether it had or not. When I flew into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) days earlier, I had presented my passport to a man at the immigration desk handling East Africans. I had seen him stamp it before handing it back to me.

Uganda: Qatar Offers Ugandans 40,000 Jobs

The government of the State of Qatar has offered 40,000 jobs to Ugandans beginning 2017, to participate in the 2022 World Cup preparations as well as raise the Ugandan population working there.

According to a press release issued by Uganda’s embassy in Saudi Arabia, the Qatar government announced the offer on Friday after a meeting between its minister of administrative development, labor and social affairs Dr. Eisa Saad Aljafali Al-Naimi and Hajjat Janat Balunzi Mukwaya, the minister of gender, labor and social development, at Qatar’s capital Doha.

“The ministers held preliminary discussions about the Uganda-Qatar bilateral labor framework and exchanged drafts of the proposed agreement for review before the signing ceremony expected in early 2017,” the release reads in part.


Relocation Africa – a Brief History

A Brief History

As the New South Africa was being born and South Africa was on the world stage, Relocation Africa started in 1993 in Johannesburg, South Africa, providing homefinding services to expatriates moving into Johannesburg. In 1997 the Cape Town branch was opened and Immigration services were included into the offering to support the client’s needs and in 1999 the international payment service was incorporated to support international clients needs to transact expatriate’s payments in South Africa.

In 2000 the Relocation Africa head-office was consolidated to Cape Town and an internal web-based system was developed to support the needs of the business and facilitate the centralised head office business model. The business decided to register a sister company called Global Expatriate Management (GEM) to take over the payments services as well as starting a payroll solution for clients who had regional offices across Africa but with a centralised payroll head office in South Africa.

In 2002 we made the strategic decision to expand relocation services into Africa. The network of consultants being recruited across Africa were able to provide housing data so in 2004 GEM formalised this housing data into a formal housing survey. We now run these biannual surveys across most countries in Africa. In 2005 GEM expanded to collect cost of living data with a network of field workers across Africa.

In 2006, due to client demand, we started expanding immigration services into other African countries. Our next key step was formalising a training department within the business in 2008 – prior to that, it had been the responsibility of the account managers to recruit and train consultants. The business has grown organically over the interleading years due to some key staff who always worked above and beyond what was asked of them.

In 2013 Relocation Africa rebranded into the Relocation Africa Group incorporating GEM’s services to formalise the service offering to clients with our four divisions, being Mobility, Immigration, Research and Remuneration.

Each division has a colour, icon and animal assigned with it and we use this branding to differentiate our services.

Immigration Services

Immigration Services


Immigration Services

Destination Services

Destination Services

Destination Services

Destination Services





Payroll & Payments

Payroll & Payments

Payroll & Payments

Payroll & Payments

Africa is an exciting space to be working and we strive to deliver a consistent quality of service to all clients no matter where the services are delivered in Africa.

Being a cog in the machinery facilitating the development of skills across Africa is what drives the management of Relocation Africa to help upskill Africa.

GOLDweblogo_curveIn 2016 we discovered an inspiring organisation called Generation of Leaders Discovered or GOLD for short ( The are based in Cape Town near our head office, and they have an inspiring model which gives hope and skills to Africa’s disenfranchised youth. They identify young opinion leaders in communities and invite them to go through their program, they give them hope, give them skills and enable them to become peer educators and role models within their peer groups. The results of their programs is astonishing. Please email us if you would like to know more about GOLD and what they do.

We are currently developing an internship program with GOLD and we are building a relationship with them as what they do fits in with our philosophy of helping to develop skills across Africa.

Our Promise

Embracing the Unknown

Our Vision

Our vision is to be the preferred supplier in Africa of trusted seamless relocation services to our clients to ensure their assignees become effective employees quickly.

Our Mission

Our mission is to remain a reliable and consistent quality managed provider of a comprehensive range of services to companies moving assignees into Africa, by removing the fear of the unknown continent.

Anti-homosexuality laws

News/Travel Alert – Please take note if you are considering travelling or relocating to these countries

Washington Post – 24 February 2014

In the latest setback for gay people across Africa, Ugandan President Yoweri ­Museveni signed a law Monday that imposes tough penalties for homosexual acts, a move that drew condemnation from around the world and that could jeopardize Uganda’s relationship with the Obama administration and Western donors.

Homosexuality was already ­illegal in Uganda, but the new legislation threatens to usher in an era of harsh treatment of offenders and could lead to widespread oppression of gay men and lesbians, human rights activists say. The legislation imposes a 14-year prison sentence for first-time offenders and life sentences for repeat offenders found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.”

Over the past few years, the persecution of gays has escalated across Africa. Same-sex relationships are widely prohibited in the continent’s conservative societies, and politicians and fundamentalist preachers have increasingly targeted homosexuals. From Senegal to Zimbabwe, gays have been detained, attacked by police, tortured and even killed. They have been denied access to health care. In some nations, their graves have been desecrated. In others, gays have faced expulsion.

Uganda’s legislation comes six weeks after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a ban on homosexuality that imposes 14-year prison terms for anyone entering a same-sex union. It also sets 10-year prison sentences for those who run gay clubs or organizations. The legislation triggered an outbreak of anti-gay attacks in parts of Nigeria.

The Ugandan law is considered to be more repressive than Nigeria’s.