The Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) has said that Zambia needed to import 250,000 tonnes of wheat to avert an acute shortage that would result in price increases for bread and other wheat products.
According to MAZ, the national current wheat stock was just below 300,000 tonnes and would only last up to March 2017. “Waiting for the next harvest scheduled for October will create an acute shortage on the local market,” said Andrew Chintala, MAZ president.
Zambia’s annual consumption of wheat was 540,000 tonnes. It is grown mainly by commercial farmers under irrigation in winter.
Chintala attributed the drop in wheat production to drought and power failures. He said millers had already bought all the available wheat from last season.
Last year, the association imported 5,000 tonnes.