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May 08, 2008

Zambia records maize surplus

Zambia recorded a food surplus this year despite unprecedented floods in most parts of the country, agriculture minister said.

Sara Sayifwanda said in a statement released late May 7 that Zambia produced about 1.2 million tons of food in 2008, which is more than enough to feed the population of 12 million people when added to reserves.

“Overall, the country is food-secure although food insecurity would be experienced within communities that experienced unfavourable weather conditions,” Sayifwanda said.

Zambia recorded a surplus of 143,000 tons of maize in 2007/2008 season, which is less than what the country produced last year, Sayifwanda said.

“The reduction in the maize surplus was 107,000 tons ... although the country is still food-secure,” Sayifwanda said.

She said the food surplus was achieved because farmers increased the size of cultivated areas despite the torrential rains and floods that hit most parts of the country. Maize is Zambia’s staple food.

The Times SA

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