SA’s Maize Harvest– South African Farmers are optimistic that the nation will be harvesting its highest maize crop in 40 years.
According to the local weather services, the rainfall recorded in January and February 2017 was over double the average.
Estimates show that South Africa will be harvesting 14.54 million tonnes of maize this year. SA’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) says the surplus is almost at a 50% rating.
This season, South Africa’s exports to regional markets within the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) are expected to reach 630 000 tons.
For imports, Grain SA suggests that while white maize may yield 70 000 tons, the yellow maize imports might reach 700 000 tons.
The anticipated boost this farming season will cut down the cost of food in the market.
Farmers are looking up to a great harvest season especially after the 2016 drought.
Aside the bountiful rains this year, SA farmers also expanded their planting areas. Both conditions have jointly made the good news for the 2017 SA’s maize harvest season..
According to Wandile Sihlobo Agricultural Economist confirms that this year’s harvest will be amazing.
“Generally food will be one of the key issues that will keep our inflation down for quite some time this year,”
“I look at the Reserve Bank numbers, they are looking at about 7.7% this year. We are looking at 7.4%, and they think that next year it could come down to any factor between 5 and 6 percent. So on a food perspective I think this is gonna be a good year…”
“We are drowning in Maize because as a country we only need about 10.5 million tonnes of maize for our annual consumption.”
He says that SA’s maize harvest this year will give about 15.6 million tonnes of maize.
Also there will be a million tonnes from last year adding up to this year’s estimates up to about 16 million.
” A large portion of that – about 9 million tonnes – is white maize, with the remainder being yellow maize”
“To send this to the export markets, (it) is easier to export yellow maize because everybody needs it for their feeding market, but when it comes to white maize, it is only consumed by African countries as well as Mexico…”
South Africa is the only country in the sub-Sahara to plant genetically modified maize.
Many countries for health reasons, do not grow genetically modified grains. However GMOs are export attractions.
Kenya for instance battles with a shortage of maize but insists on not accept genetically modified grain. Countries like Burundi and Tanzania share a similar sentiment.