Portugal has expressed interest to make a trade deal with Zambia for maize imports
Zambia recently became self-sufficient in its maize production capacity, going from being a net importer to an exporter of the staple grain crop.
The Portuguese consul in the southern African nation, Eric Marques, is quoted by local newspaper Zambian Daily Mail as saying that his government will seek to import the Zambian surplus in order to satisfy the growing demand of the processing industries in his country.
“In view of the increase in grain production in the country, we plan and look forward to importing the commodity from Zambia, especially maize to feed into our production capacities,” Marques added.
Zambian agriculture minister Given Lubinda had said earlier this year that up to one million tons of white maize, amounting to one third of the national crop, would be exported this year, following a record harvest in 2014.
Droughts and floods in many of the neighbouring countries have meant poor harvests, providing a ready market for Zambian grain in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana.