WANDILE SIHLOBO: Lure of farming up north must be matched with firm policy
Regardless of interesting climatic and infrastructural developments, policy uncertainty in Zambia remains a key concern, writes Wandile Sihlobo
As part of my functions at the Agribusiness Chamber (Agbiz) I recently engaged with agribusiness leaders in the agricultural inputs and insurance industries to share my observations regarding crop production trends in Southern Africa in the 2015-16 season. My analysis revealed an interesting pattern, where the southern and western parts of Southern Africa were dry and warm and the northern parts of Zambia and East Africa saw higher rainfall — essential for agricultural production. This rainfall pattern resonates with maize production estimates from the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy, which indicate that in 2015-16, Kenya’s maize production could reach 3.8-million tonnes, up by 6% year on year, while Tanzania’s maize production could reach 5.8-million tonnes, down by just 2% from the previous season. In line with the rainfall trend, maize production in SA is estimated at 7.5-million tonnes, down 24% year on year, mainly due to drier conditions.These observations of the vulne...
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