SA maize imports under threat

via SA maize imports under threat – DailyNews Live by Roadwin Chirara  6 JANUARY 2014

The much-hyped maize import deal between South Africa and Zimbabwe might be threatened by estimates that the neighbouring country’s harvest could be insufficient to meet its national demands.

According to South Africa’s Department of Agriculture Crop Estimates Committee figures, the country’s maize harvest last year declined by 20 percent from prior year, the smallest since 2007, after the country’s main growing regions did not receive sufficient rain for crops to grow during the planting period.

South Africa’s projected crop deficit has seen maize prices jump to record levels, the highest level in the least 17 years, a position that might also impact on the cash-strapped Zimbabwean government buying price.

Grain SA, a grouping of commercial farmers in South Africa, estimate maize prices to surge by as much as 27 percent if the drought-stricken North West province does not get more rain to enable farmers to plant.

“Prices can easily go higher, depending on how difficult it is to secure stocks. South Africa will basically be running out of maize by end-March,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at commodity trader BVG (Pty) Ltd told South African media.

This comes as Zimbabwe plans to import 150 000 tonnes of maize from its neighbour to alleviate projected food shortages attributed to drought and a poor harvest.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates, the country faces its worst famine since 2009 with an estimated 2,2 million people living in the rural areas requiring urgent food assistance.

The South African imports will add to another 150 000 tonnes ordered from Zambia at a cost of more than $25 million.

The deal, however, also hangs in the balance after Zambia’s President Michael Sata is reported to have demanded cash for grain, backtracking on an earlier promise to deliver the grain on credit.

Zimbabwe according to government figures has 30 000 tonnes of maize in its strategic grain reserve and requires about two million tonnes annually.

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), says absence of security of land tenure will continue to provide a challenge for indigenous small scale farmers to contribute to the agriculture sectors growth.

“Newly-resettled farmers are not able to use the inherent value in their land as collateral to borrow from banks which is traditional the case in most countries. Most of the country’s farmers were given land by government on the basis of 99-year leases and depend mainly on government and donors for inputs, and other farming requirements,” CFU president Charles Taffs said.


  • comment-avatar
    Zbweano 8 years ago

    SA should not worry for us. We will smoke our tobacco!!

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    The truth of the matter is that we used to laugh at Zambia and the Kwatcha. South Africans have laughed at the Zim dollar.As long as the ANC does not engage with all the stake holders in South Africa IPIKI IYEZA. (THE PICK IS COMING)

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    Murimi Wanhasi 8 years ago

    Very interesting article.
    Apparrently RSA with all its “white” commercial farmers(numbering more than 4000) & with all their technology,will not be able to feed itself.
    Its the drought they cry.
    Here in Zim,it can never be a drought,its becoz Mugabe..
    Also the CFU points to the major reason why agric in Zim is suffering-Non bankable Leases!!!!!!!!!!!
    If it wasnt the most important why mention it only?
    So,to all the haters,here is yo answer.

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      Jrr56 8 years ago

      SA might have a bad year due to drought, Zimbabwe and even Rhodesia had bad years due to drought. The difference SA will not starve or ask for the WFP to step in and feed their people. The article says Zimbabwe will have problems, not to buy the maize from SA, rather the price is going up and Zimbabwe will suffer from this. When you are broke and the cost of food goes up it hurts a lot more. That you find it amusing to make blatant racist comments your countrymen will suffer, a typical Zanu trait it would appear. I have not heard of black farmers blamed for Zimbabwe’s plight rather skewed land distribution coupled with a poorly thought out strategy for agriculture. The blame lies squarely on Mugabe’s regime and like you Mugabe blames all his woes on White farmers who at the end of the day worked hard, paid taxes and fed the country along with hard working Black farmers.

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    My heart is pained at the suffering dying starving while zanupf rapes our nation at will. I am told reliably by whistle blowers aplenty that the real reason for the maize threat is nothing to do with zumalands drought. It’s cos zim treasury is broke. Anyway the un. Fao. Evil west donors. They source their free donations from Argentina Brazil USA at much cheaper prices than down south on the international corn commodity exchanges. So boooo.!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Murimi wanhasi works in the propaganda dept of the criminals bankrupt broke agriculture tresufy. Chete. He sings for the bread crumbs off his masters tables for his miserable supper.nonsense idiot rubbish half donkey half baboon married to nungu muroyi

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    Richard 8 years ago

    Murimi Wanhasi you are so misguided. South Africa have lost over 2000 farmers having been murdered by the racist ANC Government since they took over power in South Africa. But just like Zimbabwe, the South African Government has been blaming the weather patterns for their lack of crops. We know Zimbabwe will never admit to failed crops blamed on useless A1 farmers. The white farmers also had bad weather patterns, but always managed to feed the people. Zimbabwe wants white maize and not yellow maize and must pay cash up front first. Grow up you idiot moron and know the facts.

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    Murimi , murimi shame on you.I thought zanupf babs made all there statements in the herald .What are you doing here????Nobody takes you seriously.

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    Murimi Wanhasi 8 years ago

    Why cant u haters just acknowledge the facts as presented by the article.
    @ Avenger,I am just a hardworking farmer who is reaping the rewards of my work.U chose to go and change nappies,live with it.
    @Richard,Im sure u r aware that economic apartheid still exists in SA .Do yo research,the murderers are not from the urban townships,but from the disadvantaged marginal black communities.Nothing can justify the loss of a life,but thats a sign of how their society is
    Also remember there was a n exodus of racist farmers when ANC took over.Maybe they r waiting for the DA to rule?
    And by implication u mean blacks have taken over these 2000 farms?

    @Tourist,U seem to be a bit shallow for this forumn

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    We should be feeding ourselves. Now I wonder why we can no longer do that??? The bible clearly tells us that a clear sign of God’s judgment is empty storehouses (granaries!)I am reliably told that in the whole Banket area-once one of the breadbaskets of Zimbabwe-in the rainy season a maximum of 20% of land is under crops and in the dry season from 10%-15%. (Winter wheat etc)I too weep at the suffering and hunger. ZPF claim to love this land? I don’t think so! They love the loot that inflates their foreign bank accounts.

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    The dream that has never been realized was the green belt that the Zambezi pipeline would have brought. Zimbabwe suffers from a chronic water shortages when the mighty Zambezi flows through the country. Experts in the past gave an example that if it was possible all you needed was to divert the Zambezi for five minutes and the flow of that water would be enough to supply Bulawayo for a year. That is the amount of water that flows into the sea every minute. My point is whilst politicians were bickering for power the missed or ignored one basic thing. “Water is life”. I am not going to go into the farm invasion which I believe were a total disaster but those ruling brought an economic giant Bulawayo to its knees and now it is on it’s back. This great City used to be referred to as THE GATEWAY TO CENTRAL AFRICA. Today all those gates are closed because those ruling are content to be a nation of Importers.You wonder why South Africa stands by and watches. Why should they care . Everything in our shops is from there so they benefit. How many Zimbabwe goods are in South African shops?

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    The truth hurts to learn that the democratic South Africa is running out of maize. Now the blame is on drought rather poor farming from the white people yepe e e e.

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      This has nothing to do with white people or black people. This has to do with below average Governing.They haven’t all of a sudden become poor farmers. The thing is if South Africa realizes that economically strong countries in the region will benefit the region then South Africa its self will remain strong.A lot of businesses that closed in Zimbabwe relocated to South Africa. Their Economy looked like it was strengthening. Truth of the matter is no matter how well off you are if there is mayhem around you it will eventually be your down fall. If you are strong and your neighbors are strong then there is stability.

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    @ jack the rabbit this has nothing to do with white or black people, it has to do with below average governing. You seem ti have lost your mind together with your above mates.

    You always blame Robert Mugabe and his indigenization policy for the hunger in Zimbabwe. Are you not the one who used to sing that Zimbabwe was the bread basket for Africa before whites were forced out of their illegal farms?

    You are still blaming the black people for this but you are saying it has nothing to do with black or white but below average governing.

    South Africa as a democratic country must prove beyond resonable doubt that it has an exceeding capacity to feed neighbhouring countries and isn’t the one they call the developed country in Africa yet its failing to supply only 150 000 tonnes to Zimbabwe. Now the blame is oin drought and which druoght are you talking about as there is no drought at all. Get the facts right the white man is no superior at all simple as that

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      I happened to be talking about South Africa. As the power house in the region what are they doing to help their neighbors. No mention was made of Mugabe and his policies. You are failing to comprehend mate. Read the articals properly before you comment.

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    Murimi Wanhasi 8 years ago

    @Doctor,U r very correct about the Zambezi water issue,but the pessimists will then tell u that the green belt will not yield anything as long as Zanu pf is in power.
    I feel sorry for Bulawayo,its politics thats @ root of its misery,& they r not doin much to help the cause by votin for MDC.
    Imagine if the pipeline was meant for Harare via UMP?It wld hav been completed ages ago
    Like I say,Murimi is no fool,we see such things

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      Murimi I think that it is good for people to have a choice and healthy to always have an alternative. It is unhealthy to say get your developement from MDC scince you voted for them. This is what has weakened the political scope. Politics is a long term thing .If you develope all areas without favour then people will see that you have thier intrest at heart and they will vote for you. What about the thousands that voted for Zanu in bulawayo? How Zane going to develope them individually? How will they know for sure who voted for who?

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      The water project would have spread to other areas. It was earmarked for Bulawayo even during the Smith regime because Matebeleland has had persistant water problems even then.It would have later benefited the Midlands and Mashonaland areas. I would agree with Jack that if your neighbors are strong it creates Stability.Matebeland’s streaghth was Mashonaland’s streaghth and vice versa as is the same with Midlands and other areas.

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        Selective investment on regional lines is like cutting off one of your legs and then complaining that you can’t move fast enough.