Possible Bumper Harvest Expected

Namibian producers in the Maize Triangle and other production areas are set for a possible record harvest of white maize after the debilitating drought of last year which had the country literally on its knees. A total harvest of about 70 000 tonnes of maize is now expected with more than half of the harvest already taken in.

During a management meeting of the Agronomic Producers Association which was held on 31 July, the chairperson Gernot Eggert mentioned that the maize harvest prospects are looking exceptionally good this year.

According to the estimated expectation of the Agronomic Board, a total of 30 929 tonnes from dry land and 37 284 tonnes from irrigated land is expected. No problems are currently experienced with marketing and some millers are busy taking in the total harvests. Expectations shot up to an expected 68 213 tonnes when members of the Agronomic Board finalised their crop estimation report at the end of May but now a total harvest of 70 000 tonnes looks possible. This is just short of the record harvest of 74 000 tonnes in 2012.

This situation already resulted in the price of maize products having been decreased by six per cent in July, bringing relief to almost every household in Namibia since maize meal is the premium staple food of the country.

Namib Mills’ Managing Director Ian Collard confirmed the drop in price of Namibia’s own Top Score maize meal products, adding that a 10-kilogramme bag, which cost about N$100, now costs approximately N$94. The most popular packaging of 2.5 kg for smaller families, selling for around N$22, also dropped in price by some N$1.35.

Collard attributed the decrease to the good rain the country has received this year, making raw materials from wheat producers cheaper. This stabilised the market, because the supply is now sufficient.

“This has decreased the raw materials’ cost of Namib Mills, and brands such as Top Score are now more affordable, thus bringing much needed relief to our customers,” he says.

The price for maize has increased drastically over the past years with the last increase of ten percent on 20 January this year. These increases on prices of maize products were due to of the drought experienced across the African continent.

Source : New Era