INTRODUCTION: Zimbabwe has produced a record maize crop.
GV & SV Combine harvesters harvesting maize. (2 SHOTS) 0.13
CU Drive of combine, blades. (3 SHOTS) 0.26
CU PULL BACK GV Grain being loaded. (2 SHOTS) 0.38
GTV Maize silos. 0.43
GV PAN Silos with rail trucks in foreground, TILT UP silo. (2 SHOTS) 0.59
GV Truck arriving at silos, entering bay. (2 SHOTS) 1.09
GTV Maize being tipped off truck. 1.20
SV INT Technician monitoring electronic control panel. 1.25
GV Maize being carried along conveyor belt. 1.32
GV EXT & GV PAN Sacks of maize piled up, rail wagons in foreground. (3 SHOTS) 1.46
Background: INTRODUCTION: Zimbabwe has produced a record maize crop. Its Grain Marketing Board says the year of peace and excellent rainfall are among the main reasons for the bumper harvest.
SYNOPSIS: The Board has called the harvest an astonishing achievement. It has taken in two million tonnes, from a total of three million harvested. One third was retained by producers for their own consumption.
The Board General Manager, Bill Long, said Zimbabwe regarded itself as having the potential for being the granary of Central Africa. Maize exports are already rolling to Zimbabwe's neighbours, the major importers being Zambia, Mozambique, Zaire and Malawi. Much of this is in the form of aid by E.E.C. countries. Zimbabwe has been inundated with requests because the whole of Central and East Africa is food deficient.
The maize harvest is easily of record proportions. In fact it is 50 per cent bigger than the previous record of 1.4 million, set in 1973.
Allowing for the domestic consumption, and for grain to be exported, Zimbabwe still expects to have maize reserve left over. The surplus is expected to be as high as one million tonnes this year. However, this leads to further considerations.
The Grain Marketing Board is appealing for outside aid to help with the storage of the surplus. It wants aid agencies or foreign governments to help finance a surplus that must be regarded as an asset. In the meantime, the Zimbabwe authorities are hoping for railway improvements in the region, to facilitate the flow of grain exports.
Source: REUTERS - CHRIS EVERSON