President Edgar Lungu and his entourage inspects the maize field which is critically hit by drought, will effect 2015/2016 harvest season today.
President Edgar Lungu and his entourage inspects the maize
field which is critically hit by drought, will effect 2015/2016
harvest season today.

The latest US funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports shows that acute food insecurity outcomes are likely to continue in most areas of Zambia from March to September.

The report notes that stressed outcomes are expected in the extreme southern parts of the country which were affected by prolonged dry spells and poorly distributed rains due to the El Niño conditions during the first half of the cropping season.

FEWS NET projects that some localized areas of Zambia will be in crisis for the remainder of the outlook period.

It says factors contributing to acute food insecurity include delayed and reduced access to the green harvest due to the delayed start of season, the extension of the lean period by at least a month, and a typically high market demand for maize.

“With increased market demand for staple food, maize and meal prices have remained very high though relatively stable in most areas in the January to February period with the exception of border towns,” it says.

The report observes that prices are at least 50 percent above the recent five-year average, which is negatively impacting poorer household purchasing power.

“While maize exports have declined due to reduced market supply, informal exports of maize meal have atypically increased to almost all neighbouring countries such as Malawi, DRC, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola and Namibia due to increased regional demand,’ it says.

“This higher than normal demand is expected to keep local prices above average. Malawi and the DRC remain the highest importers of informal maize meal. Rainfall over the past few months has increased. However, the improved moisture is likely too late to improve crops that were permanently damaged by the dryness and high temperatures in the southern parts of the country.”

It added, “The late planted crops in the southern region that are in the early to mid-reproductive stage will greatly benefit from these rains Livestock conditions will improve as well because of increased pastures and water availability.”

“Areas expected to experience significant reductions in production output include Western Province, most of Southern and Lusaka Provinces, as well as southern parts of Eastern Province. Based on the water requirement index (WRSI) and field reports, crops conditions in these areas are mediocre.”

The report says local maize stocks are estimated at 848,000 MT, with 216,000 MT committed to exports.

“These supplies are adequate to meet Zambian demand up to August 2016.

The next harvest expected in May should improve stocks in order to meet national needs through the end of the 2016/17 marketing season,” it says.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. This is news which is exposing zambians to economic opportunities. I like, the Chinese, West Africans, South Africans who could make sure that they work hard day and night to satisfy the export market for maize which has presented itself. Instead of tripling both production from 848,000 MT to 2,544,000.00 MT
    and export figures from 216,000.00 to 648,000.00 MT to exceed demand for both local and export markets, we are busy lobbying for ban on export of maize. The opposition is busy discouraging nation from both creating employment and earning forex. Strategy, all those who will lose elections this year together with their running mates and cadres should be locked at farms to produce maize. In future restrict the number of presidential candidates to three.

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    • What you are talking about can only work with responsible leadership.El Nino was predicted more than 4 years ago but PF never took advantage.Imagine if even 10% percent of their corruption driven infrastructural development nonsense was spent on improving farmer input support and irrigation we would have been reaping rewards by now as opposed to just seeing a small clique of corrupt *****s driving latest cars and ownining expensive properties.

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    • West Africans import milk, beef, poultry and grains from Asia, Europe and America. The only two regions in Africa with a relatively well developed local food production system are Southern and Eastern Africa. West Africa….my foot! You’re a very ignorant full.

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  2. Zambian commercial and small scale farmers with access to irrigation should make MONEY for once. The regional market wants maize and there is non in the whole region.

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  3. If we have 848,000 mt maize stock, enough to take us to 08/16 then why are we seeing mealie meal queues? We have 216,000 mt committed to export, who’s exporting, GRZ or the private sector? Chola Kafwabulula & Zayelo please explain this. Someone has done the donkey work for you. Unless of course FEWSNET collected cooked up data from you.

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  4. @ Goncalves
    You have no ideas to articulate ideas but to rush to insults others. If you’re a very ignorant full yourself keep it to yourself and don’t heap it on others. Who is talking about what they produce and import? I am talking about work culture of taking advantage of world opportunities, be it, sport, religion, farming, meeting AGOA demands, etc. Small minds rush at insulting others instead of articulating their ideas independently. I have I argued with you that West Africans don’t import milk, beef, poultry and grains from Asia, Europe and America? I have no business with your feelings.

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  5. Zambia has excess maize and soon more will be offloaded on the market to pose still more storage challenges. the govt just ought to be agressive and come up with a well strategised maize xport mechanism instead of lending too much ear to unwarranted distractions from some redundant oppositions.boarders need to be well policed as demonstrated by chipata ZNS and millers strictly monitored to ensure they’re not repacking subsidisd maize for export.there’s also urgent need to xpand storage capacty

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  6. The caption is nonsensical. Anyone understand this hogwash: President Edgar Lungu and his entourage inspects the maize
    field which is critically hit by drought, will effect 2015/2016
    harvest season today.

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