Zambia plans to export 850,000 tonnes of maize to neighbours
24 October 2014, 08:26
Lusaka - Zambia plans to export 850,000 tonnes of maize to neigbouring countries after producing its bigggest harvest on record, its minister of agriculture said on Thursday.
Wylbur Simuusa told Reuters that Zambia bought more than double its strategic reserve requirement of 500,000 tonnes of maize from farmers and had additional stocks for export.
Its maize production rose by nearly a third to 3.3 million tonnes in the 2013/2014 season from the last annual harvest of 2.5 million tonnes.
"We have 350,000 tonnes from carry-over stocks and the additional 500,000 tonnes we bought above our requirements this year which we plan to export," Simuusa said.
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"We have firm orders for the maize in our neighbouring countries and decided to buy more than our strategic reserves because the private sector was offering very low prices to our farmers," he added.
The state-run Food Reserve Agency (FRA), which bought maize for strategic reserves, was overwhelmed by requests from small-scale farmers who wanted to sell their maize, he said.
Zambia exports corn to other African countries, including Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi, Angola and Kenya.