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June 20, 2019

Namibia's 2019 Maize Harvest A 'Catastrophe'

In the absence of the much needed late rains in March, maize producers in Namibia will only be able to supply less than 30 percent (some 30 000 tonnes) of local demand. This will be some 25 000 tonnes less than last year when the country harvested 57 000 tonnes and supplied 47 percent of domestic demand.
The CEO of Namib Mills and Namib Poultry, Ian Collard, says Namibia requires roughly 120 000 tonnes of white maze for human consumption and some 50 000 tonnes of yellow maize for animal fodder.

... Namibia will have to import some 180 000 tonnes of maize this season. The most lucrative of these products is white maize, and the local marketing scheme ensures local millers must first use all local white maize before the deficit can be imported.
Due to the government’s agreement with producers and manufacturers the harvest increased from some 5 000 tonnes in the 1990s to more than 10 times that in 2018, but this season everything has been undone.

Collard says yields are lower in Namibia due to rainfall, soil quality, farm practices as well as the fact that only non-genetically modified organism (GMO) seed is allowed to be planted in the country.

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