Zambia suspends maize exports to Zim

Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
ZAMBIA suspended maize exports to Zimbabwe last week to help build reserves in light of a looming El Nino-induced drought, local grain importers confirmed last Friday.

The suspension has affected local grain importers who are now battling to bring in about 70 000 tonnes of maize worth $24 million which they had already purchased.

“The future (in Zambia) is uncertain because they are also putting an importation programme,” Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe Mr Tafadzwa Musarara told a stakeholder workshop on the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation.

“So they have suspended exports to Zimbabwe with effect from last week and this has affected some of our members who have made prepayments for about 70 000 tonnes.”

Mr Musarara said the GMAZ has since engaged the Zambian authorities to have the maize released. The local grain companies were importing from Zambian private dealers after the Zambian government banned exports by state-owned Food Reserve Agency.

The effect of the El Nino, a weather phenomenon, which causes drought is affecting the whole southern Africa region and is most likely to result in low agricultural output.

As a result, the Government has since mobilised $200 million for grain importation while President Mugabe declared a State of emergency due to the prevailing drought. This prompted international donor community to raise $60 million for food security.

The Government and the private sector have been pro-active in making sure there will be consistent supply and availability of grain. Zimbabwe intends to import grain from South America.

A deal was struck recently in which the Mozambican Rail and Ports Authority guaranteed a 10-day turnaround and lower tariffs for grain destined for Zimbabwe.

The development is meant to ensure availability of grain on the market and stabilise prices.

This follows a successful meeting between the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Caminos de Macambique, Government officials, logistics firms and grain importers.

In terms of the agreement, maize shipments destined for Zimbabwe will be transported through Maputo for the southern region and will come into the country via Chicualacuala or Sango Border Posts while Beira Border Post will be an entry point for grain to eastern and northern parts of the country.

This will lower distribution costs and help keep the price of grain, maize meal and related products affordable.

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  • Chabarwa

    The writing on the wall for regional SADC grain export curbs and bans has been apparent for months. It’s quite normal for local governments to prioritise needs of their own citizens first, and many will blame the Zanu-PF Government for late preparation and inaction due to its irresponsible preoccupation with internal party factional fights, rather than its primary mandate of assuring the welfare and success of the nation by fulfilling its forgotten 2013 election promises.
    President Mugabe sleeping on the job is ultimately responsible for this chaotic state of affairs, and by allowing his wife to illegally interfere with and assume authority of a government role non-existent in the supreme Constitution, proves the President is no longer fit for office which can only be remedied by his immediate resignation for incompetence!

    • Muturikwa we Gweru.

      Chabarwa! Why not dream alone and zviroto zvako zvoperera mumba.

  • Mamvemve

    Zambia is imposing illegal sanctions on us. We need to take them to the UN,for refusing to sell us grain,in order to push their illegal regime agenda. Zimbabwe will never be a colony again. Does this sound familiar?

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Other regional countries are also putting up programs to import food . Before 1980, this country used to import maize also during droughts. What is new and special that is arousing your political nostalgia for the defeated Rhodesia? What are you foolishly insinuating? Are you trying to justify the illegal Western sanctions imposed because of our legitimate land reform? . Your unpatriotic MDC politics of supporting sanctions hoping the people`s suffering would make Zimbabweans vote for your stooge party will never bear satanic fruits. Its the sanctions devil that can explain the unattractive cost structure that makes it impossible for farmers to produce maize enough for our grain storage. Black farmers have produced tobacco successfully during the past decade proving that with a good pricing that can cover the costs we can do it. YES ITS THE SATANIC MDC SUPPORTED SANCTIONS THAT HAVE CAUSED MOST OF OUR ECONOMIC PROBLEMS. Yes Zimbabwe will never be a neo colony to be ruled by van Tsvangisen!

      • weasel

        pointing a finger at MDC now senseless talk. Just diversionary tactics from the real culprits. Regimes will change whether you like it or not. Zimbabwe just needs a NEW LEADER with a Forward THRUST kwete Ngano everyday, Only GOD will be dominion forever. Stop your childish wars in ZPF , think about the people and STOP LYING!!!!!!

        • Kuta Kinte

          And God will protect his people from slavery, especially the mental one which has engulfed the likes of weasel.

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Ah you are confused ZANU PF is not ZPF. Don`t make ignorant comments. Don`t be silly. I have nothing to do with ZPF! Its a fact that your stooge party MDCT supports satanic sanctions.

          • weasel

            wazvinzwa and yo fake Prof tag yu are ZANU PF hence the Cde tag too. Your language sucks and is fit for touting

      • ian

        You claim to be an economist but your way of thinking does not reflect this in any way. A properly trained economist does not just rush to conclusions without looking at all the facts on the ground, first. If indeed you know the economic history of this country, you would be aware that the biggest producers of maize in this country have always been the small scale farmers, driven by the infrastructure provided and the attractive prices offered by the Grain Marketing Board, the main buyer for the maize produced. When government liberalised the market, prices started tumbling down resulting in maize becoming unattractive to the farmers. At the same time due to poor management, standards started falling at the Grain Marketing Board resulting in failure to maintain infrastructure and also buy maize at reasonable prices. The situation has been worsening over the years, including even during good seasons. Therefore, we are in the state that we find ourselves in because of poor agricultural policies and also bad management at GMB-period! Can you deny that management at this parastatal has been paying themselves unsustainably high salaries and other perks? Were they induced into paying themselves such salaries by the sanctions? GMB’s counterparts in Zambia and in South Africa are properly run entities, hence the ability to perform well over the years. Why do people like you continue to blame sanctions even for matters that have absolutely nothing to do with sanctions at all? I suspect that you are the same people who have been running these institutions down, and are now busy looking for scapegoats. Shame on you!

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Mr Ian (Smith) ghost you can enrich your debating by not avoiding the issue of cost structure which I mentioned in my posting, compared to other regional maize producers , because of our use of the US $. The regional maize price will crowd out Zimbabwean maize farmers , hence their resort to crops that would be profitable like tobacco. You rightly pointed out that black farmers used to produce more maize , but only because it was attractive then. The fact is that a 50kg bag of fertilizer in Zim is priced at US$29-31. The same fertilizer bag price is below US$20 in other countries.That comparative price level applies also to other inputs. Don`t use your “A “level Economics in this debate. As an A1 farmer in Goromonzi District, I stopped growing maize because of the cost structure against the market competition from the region. GMB which pretends to give a better price has no capital to buy maize. We can produce the maize , subject to market conditions.

      • mavhaire

        Stupid factional wars

      • yowe

        Iwe wakusvota!!! Your stupid failed ideology and constant lack of introspection shows that you are no better than the idiots bused to the airport to welcome the first family and later on dumped there to fend for themselves. Zanu has failed simple! How many years after the land reform is it now? Has there even be a land audit to know how the land is being utilised? Has this government of yours invested in irrigation?? The Zambezi catchment projects which were supposed to be done in the 80s aripi?? How much money has been lost through corruption? What parastatal still exists?? Yet daily you spew filthy propaganda to support your pay masters if you even eat at their table nxaaa

    • Hapazari


  • Brian

    Just give those farms back to the whites before we all perish for our foolishness

    • tafamutekwe

      Those same dispossessed whites are the ones now farming and producing bumper harvests in neighboring Zambia!

    • Matsimba

      We vehemently beg to differ on this one. Handing back the farms to the white man is a great sign of cowardice and betrayal of the revolution which started with First Chimurenga. On this forum citizens have eloquently articulated that which has caused this predicament. Contrary to common wisdom, farmers are not abandoning maize because of poor prices, rather it is principally because GMB has no capacity, first of supporting farmers, secondly of purchasing grain, thirdly of transporting grain to the silos and lastly to store the grain properly in the silos for the lean seasons ahead. Despite serious, consistent and objective lobbying both to Government and the ruling party, ZANU PF, for the establishment of commodities exchange, the idea was flatly refused, despite the fact that ZANU PF in its conference in Gweru, Midlands Province, agreed and resolved that commodities exchange for grain marketing was a way to go. We shall not bother readers on the benefits of such a marketing platform, as they can research for themselves. However, what we want to share with citizens is that the contradiction of allowing liberalized and efficient market pricing in cash crops such tobacco and pursue command economy in food crop husbandry is difficult to understand. Thus, political considerations have taken priority rather than economic imperatives – that is the Achilles heel of this nation. Another revolution in the land markets in Zimbabwe is inevitable if government does not rationalize the process, by conducting a proper land audit, flushing out wicked hording of land, prioritizing competent black farmers, rolling out market driven support to farmers, with clear consequences for delinquency in non-repayment of financial and asset support, revamping the grain markets by attacking monopolies and oligopolies, restoring the collateral value of land, establishing irrigation schemes among others. Black Zimbabwean farmers are extremely hardworking and competent and can easily feed the nation, what is missing is that real farmers have not been given the land.The land is therefore in the hands of political activists, opportunists, fake war veterans, office workers who love the urban lights and can not spend a single day at their farm holdings, infants and teenagers still in the care of parents and guardians, land hoarders desirous and wishing to create land family dynasties reminiscent of the the coloniser of the bygone era- that my dear Brian is what we should furiously and vigorously attack without wavering, regretting, or apologizing to anyone, as we pay tribute to villagers of Svosve communal lands who saw it fit, and rightly so, to demand that which is theirs – the Black African Zimbabwean Land- the birthright of the son of the soil, proud Africans demanding what is rightly theirs stolen by foreigners through violence and injustice and subjugation of brave spirit mediums, the gate keepers of this great nation, Great Zimbabwe, Munhu Mutapa, Charwe, Nehanda Nyakasikana!!!

  • Morality

    Rattling the begging bowl to raise $60m from the imperialists is not ‘food security’.

    ‘Food security’ is when you can provide for your own food needs on an ongoing basis without begging the world to help.

  • kutototo

    Are you sure Zambia exports maize to Zimbabwe, because i thought we export maize to Zambia and not the other way round.

    • Gary WekuZviyambe

      We have been importing maize from Zambia ever since we took back our land from the imperialists.

  • Fred Muchena

    kurima hakusi nyore

  • Suppoter

    This is really the way to go, and also encourage farms to embark on courses that will enable them to gain skills. They must make it a rule that those who were given farms must enrol on these course otherwise take the farms and give them to people who are serious with farming.

  • Gruesome

    Do they have the money/

  • Kuta Kinte

    Prof Muzvinavhu is very correct. Aya mamvemve haatevedzerwi. Nyika yega yega inawo mamvemve. These are the people who are paid to twist every piece of news to their political agenda. Zimbabwe will never be a colony again even under the severest of any drought.

  • Strategic

    Gloom and doom!!