AMA suspends maize and maize meal imports

Agriculture Reporter

Following the expected bumper harvest of up to 2.8 million tonnes of maize this year, compared to 900 000 tonnes last year, the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) has with immediate effect suspended importation of maize and maize meal, saving the country millions of dollars needed for maize importation.

In a Press Statement yesterday, AMA highlighted that all permits which had already been issued before the announcement will automatically expire on 31 May 2021, to allow smooth movement of goods in transit.

“The Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) wishes to advise all grain millers and grain traders that all maize and maize meal imports are suspended with immediate effect until further notice. Furthermore, the Agriculture Marketing Authority will no longer be issuing out import permits for maize and maize meal on the Online Permit Application System. All grain millers are directed to buy their maize from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB),” reads part of the statement.

In the Press Statement, AMA said the notice was issued under the provision of the AMA Act, Statutory Instrument 140 of 2013, which regulates participation in the production, buying or processing of any grain, oil seeds and products by producers or processers.

The Zimbabwe’s maize import bill reached US$300 million in 2020 according to data from the National Statistics Agency and the expected bumper harvest will save the much needed foreign currency the country was using to import grain.

Timeous distribution of inputs under the SMART Agriculture formerly known as the Command Agriculture and the good rains that characterised 2020/2021 agriculture season led to the expected bumper harvest, which will surpass the national requirement of 1.8 million tonnes needed for human consumption.