African Reserves

Zambia receives requests for grain from neighbors after bumper harvest


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LUSAKA from Zambia

Zambia has started receiving requests for cereals and cornmeal from its neighbors in the Great Lakes region after reporting a historic bumper harvest this month.

Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are among the main grain-seeking countries, the Zambia Grain Traders Association revealed on Sunday.

An official from the capital Lusaka said the move was an opportunity for the country to boost its foreign exchange reserves which currently stand at around US $ 1.3 billion.

The Southern African nation’s Ministry of Agriculture announced in early May that the country would produce 3.62 million tonnes of grain during the 2020-2021 farming season.

This figure was 7% higher than the 3.38 million tonnes recorded the previous year and this was attributed to good rains and adoption of good agricultural practices by farmers.

With carry-over stocks of 840,944 tonnes of maize from the previous harvest, Zambia projects a surplus of 1.52 million tonnes.

The surplus grain stock is open for export mainly to the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Great Lakes region under public and private contracts.

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