Zimbabwe Forecast to Reap Biggest Maize Crop in Almost Four Decades, but Yields Remain 'Dismal'


Zimbabwe is set to reap its biggest maize harvest since the 1984/85 season. That's because more land has been devoted (or cleared) for the crop. However, yields remain dismal. This poor performance is a warning to South Africa as expropriation without compensation looms.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a brief report last week that: "Zimbabwe's corn (maize) crop for the 2021/22 marketing year (MY) is estimated at 2.7 million tons, an increase of almost 200 percent from the 907,628 tons of maize produced in the 2020/21 MY."

The USDA went on to say that this will be Zimbabwe's biggest maize crop since the 1984/85 marketing season, or almost four decades. It attributed this to an "expansion in area and favorable weather conditions".

"As a result, the Zimbabwean government terminated the issuing of import permits for corn and cornmeal to local grain millers as supply exceeds local demand. Zimbabwe will also, for the first time in three years, manage to maintain the minimum strategic grain reserve of 500,000 tons in physical stocks," the USDA said.

At first glance, this is good news. But peel away the leaves and there is not much in the way of grain on...

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