Mugabe’s White Farmers Reap 3.3 Million Tonnes of Maize In Zambia While Zim Starves

Lusaka – MAIZE output has increased to 3.3 million tonnes in the current harvesting season, the highest production recorded in Zambia’s history.zamb-MMAP-md

Agriculture minister Wylbur Simuusa said this afternoon that the production of rice, millet, groundnuts and tobacco has also increased this season compared to the last season.

He said the country’s maize production rose 32 percent in the 2013/2014 season from 2.5 million tonnes in the 2012/2013 season on the back of improved yields, area planted and increased investment in the sector, signalling a possible sharp drop in mealie-meal prices.

“This is the highest ever maize harvest recorded in Zambia’s history and provides us with the opportunity to adequately feed the nation and export the surplus,” Simuusa told journalists at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday. “However, it also brings challenges of ensuring availability of adequate storage facilities to minimise losses and also address export policy issues.”
He said the government planned to export slightly over 300,000 tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Kenya.

Simusaa, however, added that the government would be cautious on exports so as not to compromise food security.

“The government through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will buy 500,000 tonnes of maize from small-scale farmers for strategic reserves,” Simuusa said.

He said Zambia’s maize stocks were currently estimated at 3.9 million tonnes, following a carryover stock of 597,192 tonnes from last year.