Zimbabwe bans imports of maize grain and products from June 2021


In mid-May 2021, the Government of Zimbabwe introduced a ban on maize imports, suspending import licenses for maize grain, maize meal and other maize products from June 2021. The measure aims to support domestic farmers and millers, as the bumper harvest forecast in 2021 is estimated to more than cover national consumption needs in the 2021/22 (April/May) marketing year. Amid the severe macro‑economic difficulties, the expected foreign currency savings from a reduction in imports is expected to alleviate some of the pressure on the limited foreign exchange reserves and reinforce the stability of the national exchange rate, which has remained steady since the last quarter of 2020 following a sharp depreciation in preceding years.


The country, a net importer of cereals, produced on average 1.2 million tonnes of maize and imported nearly 400 000 tonnes per year during the 2016-2020 period. Production of maize in 2021 is officially forecast at 2.7 million tonnes, nearly threefold the reduced outputs in 2019 and 2020, when production was affected by drought. The large output bodes well for the supply situation this year and households’ food stocks are expected to reach high levels, while prices of maize are likely to ease following the completion of the harvest in June 2021.

Country: Zimbabwe