Zambia’s Agriculture sector might be the country’s only economic sector to grow in 2020 after maize production expanded by about 70% after good rains followed a historic drought in the previous season.
Ironically, neighbouring Zimbabwe is facing starvation after a poor farming season that was affected by the El Nino induced drought and about two decades of poor agriculture policies.
Zambia’s Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo told reporters this Wednesday in Lusaka that maize production is estimated to have risen to 3.4 million metric tons in the 2019-2020 season from 2 million tons the previous one.
This means the southern African nation is food secure, for now, when Zimbabwe is importing grain to avert starvation.
Some of the farmers in Zambia were chased away from Zimbabwe at the turn of the millennium when the Robert Mugabe-led government embarked on a gruesome fast-track land reform programme.
Although Zambia is expecting a maize surplus of 210 099 tons, the country’s economy is however struggling due to a number of factors including a looming debt crisis and the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The International Monetary Fund projects that the Gross domestic product will shrink by 3.5% this year.