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#SADrought: Govt expects to import 4.3m tons of maize

Minister Senzeni Zokwana says the country has already imported over one million tons of maize.

FILE: Earlier this year farmers in Reddersburg, Free State were unable to plant any maize because of the drought. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Government expects to import another 4.3 million tons of maize between May and April 2017 due to the drought.

This was revealed in Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana's budget vote yesterday in Parliament.

He says the country has already imported over one million tons of maize.

"To date we have imported 1.7 million tons of yellow maize, we have imported 72 tons of white maize. We have two weeks left in the current marketing season. This is almost exactly what we anticipated in December 2015."

Zokwana adds his department has already allocated R381 million towards drought relief.

"Working with the provincial departments of agriculture we have drilled 224 bore holes, 78 of which have been successfully completed. A total of about 320 bags of animal feed were bought and distributed to the affected farmers."