Tanzania lifts ban on maize exports
Tanzania’s government has lifted ban on maize export following mammoth harvests, which the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) can hardly exhaust.
This was announced Tuesday by the Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Charles Tizeba, in Dodoma at the ongoing National Assembly session, which has been debating the 2018 draft fiscal budget and proposed National Development Plan.
According to Tizeba, the move comes after an assessment of the current food stock against the NFRA’s budget for maize purchases. The bumper maize harvests cannot all be bought by the government, which has now opened the door to exports to allow next farming circle to move on smoothly.
In June 2017, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced a ban on maize exports, saying the government was still collecting data on food adequacy in the country before lifting the export ban.
The food situation in Tanzania then was not good, and if exports continued unabated, the country could have experienced serious shortages.
By then the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan had officially requested for maize supplies, according to the Majaliwa.
The lifting of the June 2017 ban would be welcomed by East African countries and Tanzanian peasants, who have been complaining about unreliable markets for their produce.
Members of Parliament had been complaining about a shortage of markets amidst bumper maize harvests, arguing that the produce could not be consumed internally.