A season of a-maize-ing grace for the country
THE 2017 maize crop continued to exceed expectations as the sixth estimate by the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) raised the forecast to a record 15.669 million tons from only 7.779 million tons last year.
The first estimate was almost 15 percent less at 13.918 million tons.
The increase in the maize harvest is one of the reasons why the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 24 increased its economic growth forecast for South Africa to 1 percent this year from the 0.8 percent forecast in April.
“The slight upward revision to 2017 growth relative to the April 2017 World Economic Outlook forecast reflects a modest upgrading of growth prospects for South Africa, which is experiencing a bumper crop due to better rainfall and an increase in mining output prompted by a moderate rebound in commodity prices,” the IMF said.
The more than doubling in the 2017 maize harvest compared with last year will boost South Africa’s economic growth by one percentage point, said Dr John Purchase, the chief executive of the Agricultural Business Chamber.
The recovery in the maize harvest follows two years of sub-par harvests caused by the lack of sufficient rain.
Maize needs 450mm to 600mm of water per season, which is mainly acquired from summer rains.
A Senwes grain silo which will be virtually brimful with maize this season.