Soya production is set to hit a record of nearly 160,000 metric tonnes this year compared to the 100,000 metric tonnes harvested last year as most commercial farmers cut back on maize production to search for higher and more certain profits. While maize is selling as low as $140 per tonne, soya beans is now fetching about $615 per tonne up from $560 per tonne from last year’s farming season, even more than wheat.
The growth in soya production appears to reflect a broader resurgence in other areas. The number of small-scale farmers in cotton production has increased to 400,000 metric tonnes up from 180,000 metric tonnes last season. There is also a “boom” in poultry that has grown to 43 million chicks in the last two years up from 18 million chicks. Demand for beef also continues to grow. In one respect, the future for agriculture is bright, though more clearly needs to be done particularly in terms of delivery of public goods. The maize marketing monster also needs to be resolved.