You are currently viewing ‘Inconsistencies in maize trade hindering exports’

‘Inconsistencies in maize trade hindering exports’

CONSISTENT policy regarding the export of maize will position Zambia as a reliable exporter of the cereal, a research organisation says.
Zambia can increase its maize export to deficit countries in southern Africa and beyond if the grain trade policy is consistent.
“Zambia can also be a reliable maize exporter by ensuring that trade policies on the commodity remain consistence and transparent,” the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institute (ReNAPRI) says.
In its 2014-2023 report under the theme ‘Anticipating and responding to the region’s policy challenges in the decade ahead’, ReNAPRI says Zambia can become a reliable exporter of maize to deficit neigbouring countries by harmonising the policy on the crop.
Zambia recorded the highest maize harvest in history in the 2013/2014 farming season amounting to about 3.4 million metric tonnes against the national requirement of about 2.8 million metric tonnes.
The report says given the high maize production and carry-over stock of almost 600,000 metric tonnes from the previous season, the current maize surplus is in excess of about 1,500,000 metric tonnes, exporting about 480,000 metric tonnes annually.
“Zambia is expected to remain a net exporter of maize throughout the outlook period, exporting about 480,000 metric tonnes per year.
“Consistent maize exports will position Zambia as a reliable source of maize for deficit countries such as the DRC, Zimbabwe, a position that can only be attained by ensuring its trade policies on maize remain consistence and transparent,” ReNAPRI says.
The research institute, however, observed that the high maize availability in the current marketing season has depressed maize prices on the domestic market.
ReNAPRI says currently domestic maize price are trading around K1,280 per tonne, a substantial decline from last year’s price of K1,540.
The research institute says the nominal domestic maize price is expected to recover from the current low, rising steadily to about K2,300 by 2023 and that this translates to relatively stable prices.
It says the expansion of maize area planted in the 2013/2014 marketing season was due to the low maize production in the 2012/2013 farming season that resulted in high maize prices.
The research institute, however, says the export growth remains flat throughout the outlook period and that implications suggests that the domestic demand drivers will be more significant in accounting for the expected growth in the maize sector compared to trade dynamics.
ReNAPRI is a regional network of national agricultural policy research institutes established and operating in the eastern and southern Africa.
The research institute was formed in 2012 to providing solutions to common challenges facing agricultural policy research institutes.