December 7, 2011
Zambia to export one million tonnes of corn
Zambia has agreed to export one million tonnes of corn to neighbouring countries after considering the local consumption needs.
However, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) executive director, Ndambo, said the government agreed at a recent meeting to export one million tonnes of corn, the majority going to Zimbabwe.
He also said that the government would have benefited from corn export had the decision been made much earlier. It is late but the decision still remains, the problem is that some of the corn is soaked, rotten and is now in grade two and three (lower quality)," the official was quoted as saying. The official also said the corn should be sold at competitive prices, adding that the government should compare the price of the commodity in neighbouring countries.
"There is a shortage of grain on the international market and if our corn could be sold at US$120 per tonne, traders can export by sea to countries like Mexico and Argentina," he added.
Zambia has witnessed a bumper harvest of corn its staple crop in the last two seasons. During the 2009/2010 season, the southern African nation produced 2.8 million tonnes of corn while during the 2010/2011 season, corn production increased to 3.2 million tonnes. However, challenges of poor storage facilities have resulted in hundreds of the produce being damaged. Zambia's annual consumption of corn stands at 1.6 million tonnes.