Zimbabwe targets 1.1 mln tons of maize imports, state media reports

Source: Zimbabwe targets 1.1 mln tons of maize imports, state media reports | Nasdaq

Credit: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Reuters – Zimbabwe plans to import 1.1 million metric tons of maize over the next year, state media reported on Wednesday, as the country seeks to limit the impact of an El Nino-induced drought on food security.

El Nino, a natural climate phenomenon in which surface waters of the central and eastern Pacific become unusually warm, causing changes in global weather patterns, is expected to hit crop yields during the 2023/24 farming season.

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) told lawmakers on Tuesday it had already secured 600,000 metric tons of maize import contracts, according to state newspaper The Herald.

“We are aiming to import 1,1 million tonnes of maize between now and next year,” GMAZ president Tafadzwa Musarara was quoted saying, adding that the imports would mostly be from South Africa and South America.

Last December, during an extended spell of dry and hot weather, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said Zimbabwe’s maize harvest could be reduced to 1.1 million tons in 2024, from about 2.3 million tons previously, due to the impact of El Nino.

The southern African country requires 2.2 million tons of the staple grain annually for human and livestock consumption.