Harare (New Ziana) – Government on Tuesday lifted the ban imposed on maize imports since last year, citing increased demand for the commodity.
The ban, which had been imposed following a bumper harvest, meant millers were required to purchase maize from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), which has a monopoly on buying and selling maize from farmers.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said on top of imports, the milling Industry and stock feed manufacturers should supplement their supplies through contract farming.
“The milling industry and stock feed manufacturers are allocated 45 000 metric tonnes and 30 000 metric tonnes of maize monthly, respectively,” she said at a Post Cabinet Briefing.
“In light of increased demand for maize, Cabinet resolved to lift the maize import ban to facilitate imports by private players with free funds.”
Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa said a record total of 1 307 250 metric tonnes of grain have so far been delivered to the GMB.
She said deliveries comprised of 987 367 metric tonnes of maize, 12 113 metric tonnes of soya beans, 208 103 metric tonnes of wheat, and 99 667 metric tonnes of traditional grains.
Another 3000 metric tonnes of wheat have been delivered directly to millers, she said.
“Mashonaland West Province has continued to record the highest maize, soya bean and wheat deliveries, while Mashonaland Central Province has the highest traditional grains intake. The grain delivered to date to the Grain Marketing Board is valued at about ZW$61 billion,” she said.
For the current farming season, Mutsvangwa said a Crop and Livestock Assessment was currently underway and its results would provide better insight on national hectorage and projected output.
But she said, as January 19, 2022 a total of 1 563 200 hectares of maize, 44 898 hectares of soya bean, and 243 254 hectares under sorghum had been recorded.
“It is highlighted that the actual area put under sunflower and cotton is 14 482 and 166 902 hectares, respectively. The production of sunflower and cotton is intended to increase the basket of oil-seeds for the country,” she said.