2020/2021 Zambian maize outlook and regional analysis

By Brian P. Mulenga and Antony Chapoto

COVID-19 pandemic shaped most of the conversations around agricultural marketing and trade in 2020. Luckily, the pandemic did not affect maize production in Zambia as the first cases and restrictions to curb the spread of the pandemic were reported just before harvest. Thus, the major concerns regarding the pandemic and the agricultural sector had to do with harvesting and marketing. The rainfall during the 2019/2020 agricultural season was good and contributed significantly to improved production of maize and other field crops. Following two consecutive seasons (2017/2018 and 2018/2019) with reduced maize harvest, Zambia recorded an above average maize harvest in the 2019/2020 agricultural season, with an estimated total production of 3,387,469 metric tons (MT) up from 2,004,389 MT in 2018/2019 production season (MoA and ZamStats, 2020). For the past five agricultural production seasons (2014/2015 – 2018/2019), Zambia’s annual maize production has averaged about 2.7 million MT, X percent above local national requirements.

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