TANZANIA – The Tanzanian government has concluded a deal to supply 650,000 metric tons of maize to Zambia, a move announced by Tanzanian Minister of Agriculture Hussein Bashe on June 30.

This agreement, signed by the Tanzania National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and the Zambian Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), will be implemented over the next eight months and is expected to generate US$250 million in export revenues for Tanzania.

This agreement will enable Tanzania to generate export revenues of US$250 million,” said Minister Bashe.

Tanzania’s maize production is on the rise, with official data projecting a 25% increase in harvests, reaching 10 million tonnes in 2024.

This growth will result in an exportable surplus of 4 million tonnes, positioning Tanzania as a key supplier in the region.

This new agreement with Zambia comes shortly after Tanzania secured a deal to ship 500,000 tonnes of maize to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in May.

These agreements highlight Tanzania’s strategic efforts to capitalize on its agricultural productivity and increase its presence in regional markets.

The growing demand for Tanzanian maize is largely driven by climatic challenges faced by neighboring countries. Zambia, heavily reliant on maize as its staple food, has been significantly affected by a persistent drought aggravated by the El Niño climatic phenomenon in 2023.

As a result, Zambia’s maize production for 2023/2024 is expected to be its lowest in 16 years, prompting the need for substantial imports to fill a 900,000-tonne production deficit.

Similarly, South Africa, another major maize supplier in the region, is also experiencing reduced output due to El Niño. South Africa’s exportable maize surplus is forecasted to drop by 58%, to just 1.44 million tonnes for the 2024/2025 period, further increasing the demand for Tanzanian maize.

Tanzania’s ability to increase its maize production and secure significant export agreements underscores its growing importance in the regional agricultural market.

These deals not only provide critical support to neighboring countries facing food shortages but also bolster Tanzania’s economy through increased export revenues.

For all the latest grains industry news from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our weekly NEWSLETTERS, follow us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.