April 21, 2017 / 12:40 PM / in 8 months

Zambia to lift suspension on maize exports as drought fears ease

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia will allow monitored maize exports this year as the country expects to have a surplus of the staple crop, President Edgar Lungu said a Friday, after foreign sales were suspended in 2016 as a drought threatened output and pushed up prices.

A man rides atop a truck ferrying bags of maize to a market along a road in the outskirts of Burundi's capital Bujumbura, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Lungu said in a statement the private sector has expressed concern over the ban on exports. “The worry is that substantial maize surplus may spill into the new season,” he said.

Zambia’s maize crop is seen above the 2.87 million tonnes produced last year, while its annual consumption is 1.8 million tonnes.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by James Macharia

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