GOVERNMENT has started importing maize from South Africa and 1 800 tonnes have already been delivered whilst another 5 000 tonnes are awaiting delivery.
This comes after the tabling in parliament of a report on food stocks last week by the portfolio committee on Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. The report revealed a huge deficit as well as exposing that government was importing maize. Government had claimed that the country had more than enough maize and denied reports that it was importing stocks.
Media reports in South Africa quoted the South African Grain Information Service confirming the delivery of 1 808 tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe last week.
Sources who spoke to this paper from South Africa said more imports were on the cards.
Jaco Grobelaar, a Commodity Trading House economist in South Africa, this week confirmed the purchase in a press report.
“The purchase came days after a parliamentary committee in that country said Harare’s official forecasts of a big crop were exaggerated,” he said. “Weekly figures from the South African Grain Information Service showed 1 808 tonnes of white maize exported to Zimbabwe. It’s interesting we’re seeing these exports after parliament deflated the crop estimate,” he said.
The parliamentary committee established through a survey on food stocks countrywide that the 2,4 million tonnes of maize yields forecast by government was hugely inflated. The committee, which visited Grain Marketing Board silos, said the country could end up with a maximum of 574 000 tonnes of maize this season.