The production of Maize in Africa is expected to register a CAGR of 3.2% during the forecast period, 2020-2025. Africa consumes 30% of the maize produced in the world, with Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounting for 21% of the consumption. Around 14 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa consume 85-95% of maize as their staple food rather than as animal feed. Africa is more inclined towards white maize consumption, with a consumption share of around 90%. As a result, white maize gets a premium price in Africa. Africa accounts for almost 6.5% of global maize production. Most of the maize is produced in rain-fed areas; however, it is also grown in the drought and famine conditions in Africa. The total harvested area under maize in Africa was around 38.7 million hectares in 2018. Nigeria is the largest producer of maize in Africa, followed by South Africa.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Maize Prices
The price of maize in Africa has increased by 57% as compared to the previous years. This price hike was expected due to El Niño’s impact on the African maize. Many countries like Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe are producing marginal maize stocks, and consumption by these countries is heavily dependent on imports. Based on the severity of El Niño’s impact, the price of maize is likely to go up from 33% to 85% in 2018-19.
Increasing Maize Production in South Africa
South Africa is the largest and most active producer of maize in the southern African region and alone accounted for 42% of Africa’s maize trade, with 69% in the form of imports in 2017. South Africa’s maize production slumped by 30% this year, and as a result, it had to import 770,000 metric tons of maize from outside the African continent. In South Africa, approximately 65% of the maize produced for human consumption is white, whereas the remaining 35% is yellow and used for animal feed. In South Africa, maize production is continuously and severely affected by a number of threats, such as weeds, insects, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, fungi, low-quality seed, low levels of mechanization, suboptimal post-harvest management, drought, and climate change.
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