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Zimbabwe Private Millers Set to Increase Maize Imports

Poor rains affected many districts in Zimbabwe, reducing the 2014/2015 season's crop to 950,000 metric tonnes.

Some private millers in Zimbabwe are expected to increase maize imports from Zambia with effect from September this year from 30,000 to 100,000 metric tonnes per month.

Tafadzwa Musarara, chairman of the Zimbabwe Grain Millers Association, said they recently met with officials from the Grain Millers Traders Association of Zambia and agreed to review the quantity upwards.

Poor logistics and tight border controls were said to be impacting on the maize imports.

Zimbabwe is expected to produce around 900,000 tonnes of grain against an annual demand of 1.8 million tonnes.

While the private sector is importing maize mainly for human consumption and stock feed, the government is also bringing in some for distribution to the needy.

Musarara told Studio 7 while they are bringing in maize from Zambia they will continue buying grain from local farmers.

“We are actually paying more for local maize than what we are paying for the imported maize,” Musarara said. “We are offering anything between $240 to $300 per tonne for local maize.”