Millers and livestock farmers tussle over maize bran market

Zambia’s biggest livestock farmers are wrestling with millers over the maize bran market. This followed a bumper harvest of maize and soyabean, a situation expected to result into affordable animal feed.

But a commercial livestock farmer who wished to remain anonymous said the price of feed was still high because millers were allegedly exporting the bran at much higher prices.

According to the sources, the scarcity of maize bran had pushed up the price of feed and led to significant increase on the price of beef nationwide.

Total maize production in the 2016/2017 season was 3.6 million tons while soyabean production was 351,000 tons. The bumper harvest of the two crops has resulted into depressed prices of K35 – K70/kg for maize and K2.35/kg for soyabean.

The livestock farmers said higher feed prices made the Zambian beef sector vulnerable to imported meet products that were flooding the local market. This had led to dismal growth of the local beef sector.

Currently, it was reported that millers were holding excess tons of bran that had accumulated before the export moratorium was lifted.

However, the surplus was not being offloaded on the local market. According to MAZ, there is high demand for bran in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other countries in the sub-region.

MAZ says the local demand for maize bran declined as most farmers are feeding their cattle natural grass, thanks to good rain.

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