Grain import protection ban
HARARE – Zimbabwe has banned grain imports to protect local farmers after producing enough to meet domestic demand, a minister said yesterday, just a year after a devastating drought left more than 4 million people in need of food aid. The nation’s grain agency had also raised $200m from the government and private sector to buy maize from farmers, the Herald newspaper said. The National Treasury last week forecast output of maize at 2.1 million tons this year, from 511 000 tons in 2016. Deputy Minister of Agriculture Davis Mharapira said the Grain Marketing Board would pay $390 per ton for white maize, almost triple the $143 for the September contract for white maize in South Africa., one of the countries from which Zimbabwe has imported maize.