Zim Imposes Bans On Maize Imports

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Staff Reporter

AUTHORITIES have moved to impose an immediate ban on maize imports after the country realised a bumper yield in the just ended cropping season.

In a statement, Agricultural Marketing Authority chief executive Clever Isaya said the authority “will no longer be issuing out import permits for maize and maize meal”.

The country, which has seen millions of citizens depend on food handouts past few years, is expecting a 2.7 million tonne yield from the just ended cropping season.

A combination of recurrent drought and poor management of the country’s mainstay agriculture saw the troubled southern African nation spend $300 million in scarce foreign currency importing maize last year.

Farmers in Zimbabwe have started harvesting this year’s crop, which is expected to come in at 2.7 million tonnes after higher than normal rainfall. That is three times last year’s output and more than annual consumption.

Millers would be required to purchase maize from the state grain agency, which has a monopoly on buying and selling maize from farmers.

The national treasury has said agriculture will anchor Zimbabwe’s economic recovery this year after sharply contracting in the last two years, while annual inflation is set to ease to double digits by the end of the year from 194.07% in April.