Zambia to import 650,000 tons of maize from Tanzania

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is sworn into the National Assembly during the first sitting of the National Assembly following elections at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Nic Bothma

Zambia plans to import 650,000 metric tons of white maize from Tanzania after drought slashed production by more than 50%, Information Minister Cornelius Mweetwa said on Wednesday.

Zambia’s maize production for the 2023/2024 crop season is projected to fall to 1.5 million tons from 3.2 million tons the previous season, according to a crop forecasting survey.

“The government has reached an initial agreement with the Tanzanian government to import 650,000 tons of white maize,” Mweetwa said in a statement announcing cabinet decisions.

Agriculture Minister Mtolo Phiri informed Parliament on Tuesday that the country suspended maize exports due to a deficit of 2.1 million tons and would import the staple grain.

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