Attractive prices lure Brazilian farmers to corn cultivation, production expected to hit 105m tonnes

BRAZIL — Despite a smaller-than-expected first crop and delayed planting of second, Brazil corn produce is expected to reach a record 105 million tonnes in the 2020-21, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA in its report noted that corn production is expected to increase thanks to elevated domestic demand and record-setting prices which make the crop more attractive to Brazillian farmers. The Agency attributes boosted domestic corn prices to strong demand from the poultry and livestock sectors, the growing…

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Kenya lifts ban on maize imports from Tanzania, Uganda under strict conditions

KENYA – Kenya has lifted the ban on imports of Ugandan and Tanzanian maize citing strict terms that the exporters and importers need to adhere to, in a bid to curb shipping in of contaminated crops. The East African nation stopped the importation of maize from the neighbouring countries after the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, undertook a study on the grains which revealed they contained high levels of mycotoxins beyond safety levels. To this end the Ministry has indicated that…

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Kenya raises concerns on safety of maize imported from Tanzania, Uganda

KENYA – Kenya has with immediate effect banned the importation of maize from Tanzania and Uganda citing safety health concerns. This comes after the Kenya Agriculture and Food Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives undertook a study on produce from the two neighbouring countries, which revealed that the maize contained high levels of mycotoxins beyond safety levels. “The Authority has been conducting surveillance on the safety of food imports to Kenya. Test results for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed high levels of mycotoxins…

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South Africa to register bumper maize production in 2020/21 with demand driven by local consumption

SOUTH AFRICA – Favourable weather in the Southern Africa region will boost South Africa’s maize/corn production during the 2020/21 market year (MY), to hit the 16 million tons mark, the same level as the bumper harvest of 2019/20, according the latest USDA report. This current estimate is 14% higher than the previous one by USDA in a GAIN report, which had previously indicated the figure could reach 12.6 million tons. This is a slight departure from the country’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC), which released its final production tally indicating that…

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Central Bank of Nigeria to release 300,000 metric tons of maize to control market price

NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced it will release about 300,000 metric tons of maize into the Nigerian market from strategic anchors under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). The release, expected in February 2021, according to the National President of the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) Alhaji Bello Abubakar, should drive down the cost of maize from the current N155,000 per metric ton and consequently impact feed price. With the release, it is expected that the price of maize in the Nigerian market will drop significantly,…

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Africa to combat maize lethal necrosis with adoption of resistant seed varieties

AFRICA – Maize is one of the most important staple cereal crops in Africa, occupying approximately 24% of farmland in the region with an average yield of around 2 tons/hectare/year. However, diseases like maize lethal necrosis (MLN) have hampered production causing major losses to farmers and threaten food security. The first reported outbreak of MLN was in Bomet County, Kenya in 2011 that threw the maize sector into a panic as no one understood the disease. The disease caused up to 100% yield loss as nearly all elite commercial maize…

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Zimbabwe hit by shortage of poultry feed caused by scarcity of maize

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe is facing shortage of stockfeed in the market brought by limited supply of maize, a major raw material in production of feeds. According to reports by NewsDay, poultry farmers are moving from one supplier to another in search for the major input for their business. The feeds have become such a rare commodity with most stores running low on stocks and others going even weeks without broiler concentrate or layers mash. With the inconsistency in supply, farmers have resort to make do with whatever brand and closest…

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Zambia forecasts 69% increase in maize production to over 3.3m metric tonnes

ZAMBIA – Zambia has projected a 69% rise in maize production in the 2019/2020 agricultural season to 3,387,469 metric from the 2,004,389 metric tonnes produced last season. Small and medium scale farmers are expected to contribute up to 93 percent of the total maize production i.e. 3,160,185 metric tonnes while the large scale farmers are expected to produce 227,284 metric tonnes representing  7 percent of the total maize production. Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo announced this when he released the 2019/2020 Crop Forecast Survey, stating that the country had a maize…

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Kenyan government to undertake strategic reforms in the maize sector to boost performance

KENYA – The Kenyan government is set to undertake strategic changes in the maize sector to boost production of the country’s staple food and ensure efficiency of operations. This comes months after President Uhuru Kenyatta formed a task force to review the performance of the maize industry with focus on policy, regulation, declining production, high cost of production, high post-harvest losses, unpredictable and unstructured markets as well as cheap imports. A report, presented in March 2019, recommended an immediate restructuring of the National Cereals Board (NCPB) and the Strategic Food Reserve…

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Rwandan farmers’ cooperative commission maize milling factory to boost value addition

RWANDA – Rwanda’s Cooperative Twihangire Umurimo (COTUMU), loosely translated as ‘Create jobs for ourselves’ has launched a Rwf125 million (US$133,000) maize milling plant to address the challenge of post-harvest losses by adding value to their produce. The 1,122 members of COTUMU raised Rwf85million (US$90,000) while Government contributed Rwf40million (US$42,500) for them to set up the plant which has a production capacity of 5 tons of maize flour a day. The factory started its operations this month. The maize flour produced is sold across Gakenke District, Northern Rwanda and its environs…

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