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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Agriculture Developments (Maize, Coffee, Bonds)

Agriculture Minister Wilbur Simuusa recently announced that Zambia has recorded another maize bumber harvest for the 2013/2014. The projected supply of maize now stands at a record 3.4m metric tonnes. Zambia only needs 1.5m tonnes. These figures include the existing FRA carry-over stock of around 0.6m metric tonnes (Source: Various)

GRZ has lifted the ban on exports of maize with maize export permits now being issued to interested exporters following the issuance of statutory instrument (SI) No. 35 of 2014. GRZ says the lifting of the ban on exports of maize will bring in much-needed foreign exchange in the country. The country has more maize than it needs and FRA can only purchase 0.5m tonnes, so a lot of maize may go to waste unless exported (Source: Times)

Government is considering issuing an agriculture bond to facilitate independent financing for the agricultural sector, according to agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa.  The idea behind the bond was for agriculture to have an "independent source of financing as opposed to relying on budgetary allocations". (Source: The Post)

Zambia's coffee production has declined from 450 tonnes recorded in 2013 to 200 tonnes this year. Zambia Coffee Growers Association (ZCGA) chief executive officer Joseph Taguma said Zambia's coffee production will continue to drop because, "we don't have a [government] policy that is geared towards promoting tree crop agriculture". So much for crop diversification! Incidentally Cassava production has also fallen sharply (Source : Times)

Chola Mukanga 
Economist | Consultant
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014

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