Borders closed to white maize imports
20 May 2020 | Agriculture
Namibia will be closing its borders to the importation of white maize from 1 June, while the cut-off date for mahangu imports is 30 June.
This was announced by the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) following a stakeholder meeting earlier this month.
Borders will remain closed to grain imports until the local harvest has been taken up and partially milled, NAB informed producers and millers.
“However, based on the tonnage expected to be marketed and taking into consideration the possibility of slow intake of white maize grain due to the expected good harvest of mahangu, the border is only likely to open for importation by November,” it said.
Board CEO Dr Fidels Mwazi informed mahangu processors that their import permits will only be valid until 30 June.
“Due to good rainfall experienced in most of the production zones, a total of 3 000 tons is expected to be marketed to millers and silos during this upcoming marketing season.”
Mahangu is mainly produced in the Zambezi, Kavango East and West, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Oshana and Omusati regions.
The NAB at the end of April said the projected local white maize demand for the next six months in Namibia stands at 70 000 metric tons. The expected harvest to be marketed to processors and silos from Namibian producers stands at 64 039 metric tons.
Meanwhile, the projected local mahangu formal market demand for the next six months stands at 1 800 metric tonnes.
Namibian producers were expected to market 1 823 metric tonnes to processors, indicating a sufficient supply for the period under review.
According to the NAB, restricted import permits for white maize are being issued and monitored to ensure that there is no possibility of stockpiling by some millers.
“Millers refusing to take up maize from producers during the restricted import period will not be given import permits and producers are requested to report such cases to the NAB.”
Millers have also been requested to ensure that the N$200 per ton reduction in price on unsifted maize meal is implemented and are expected to notify their clients to ensure that this benefit is passed on to the end consumers at retail level.
The NAB will monitor compliance both at miller and retail level through regular inspections, it said.
While the floor price for raw material is still relatively high, millers may affect a price increase on maize meal not exceeding 10% during this marketing season, the NAB said.
The NAB has also donated N$1.1 million to government to provide food to the most vulnerable groups of society impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.