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Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Malawi sees bumper maize harvest

Malawi expects its biggest maize crop in more
than a decade. An official said the country could harvest 3.4 million
tonnes of maize in 2008/09 versus 3.2 million tonnes in the previous

The crop would be the country's third consecutive surplus since the
fertiliser and seed subsidy programme started in the poor yet
fast-growing economy in 2005. The national maize consumption is 2.2
million tonnes.

"We have recorded a surplus of 1.2 million tonnes this year and we
plan to double this next year because Malawi has good soils and the
subsidy programme will be more targeted," Mr Andrew Daudi, principal
secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture told Reuters.

The estimate for the 2008/09 season was based on the second round crop estimate.

The final maize harvest is due in about two months, he said.
Malawi's previous highest maize harvest was in the 2007/08 season. The
maize season runs from November to April.

Malawi is a net food exporter and has seen three years of growth above 7 percent in the country of 13 million.

The Economist Intelligence Unit forecast Malawi will have the
world's fastest growing economy after Qatar this year, but annual gross
domestic product is estimated at only $313 per capita.

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