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Zimbabwe to import 1.4 metric tonnes of maize from Brazil, Argentina as hunger bites

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By Tapiwa Svondo


The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has announced plans to import 1.4 million metric tonnes of maize from new source countries including Mexico, Argentina and Brazil among others.

This comes as Zimbabwe is grappling with an El Nino-induced drought which has left over 2,7 million people food insecure.

The country also has a grain deficit of over 680 000 metric tonnes.

Addressing journalists in Harare, Thursday, GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said this volume of maize is expected to be imported between May and July 30 2024. Various entry points into the country will be used.

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“We are aiming to bring in 1,4 million metric tonnes of maize between now and July 30, 2024, utilising all our frontiers. Beira port will dock maize shipments for the Eastern and Northern parts of the country. Maputo will dock shipments into the Southern region of the country via Chicualacualla, Durban will dock shipments into both the Southern and Northern regions. Plumtree and Beitbridge will continue to provide gateway and expedited services for maize from South Africa.

“We will be increasing our source countries to about 5, to include Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Argentina, and America.

Musarara said the inclusion of additional source countries for grain importation will help mitigate risks associated with global geopolitics.

“A GMAZ delegation will be in Sao Paulo and meeting members of the Associação Nacional dos Exportadores de Cereais (Brazilian Grain Exporters Association) to negotiate and conclude supply agreements of maize (White and Yellow) and rice.

“Yellow Maize has a high nutrient content of Vitamin A. The delegation will also meet suppliers of industrial grain milling equipment.

“It is prudent, and in the best national interest, to diversify our source countries so that we mitigate against the risks of ever-changing and unstable global geopolitics that continue to disrupt global commerce,” he added.