US$19m for Zambia from maize exports
Lusaka – Zambia earned more than US$19 million in exports of maize to other southern African neighbours after the country recorded a bumper harvest during the previous farming season. According to the Food Reserve Agency, an agency of the government tasked to market crops and other related products, Zambia realized US$19.5 million after exporting over 119,100 metric tonnes of maize to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and other neighbouring countries. Spokesperson Mwamba Siame said the agency’s maize export prize had steadily increased from US$ 160 to US$ 200 per metric tonne. The major importing country was Zimbabwe with 84,000 metric tonnes followed by Congo with 32,500 metric tonnes, Namibia (1,600 metric tones) and Mozambique (1,000 metric tonnes). The agency is meanwhile looking at other countries that might need the maize and other agriculture products. Zambia harvested a record 2.8 million tonnes during the 2009/10 farming season. The bumper harvest was largely attributed to the government’s policy to provide subsidies to small-scale farmers who planted large fields to meet demand for maize and other agriculture products.