Economist hopes rain will help SA become maize exporter again

Due to the drought, the country has been forced to import maize. But rain has brought relief to many maize farmers.

FILE: A woman harvests maize. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN – If rain persists in the interior of South Africa, the country could be switching back to being a net exporter of maize this year

That's the sentiment of agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo.

Due to the drought, the country has been forced to import maize.

But rain has brought relief to many maize farmers.

Sihlobo says the recent rain is good news for beleaguered farmers.

He adds if the rainfall lasts until February, farmers can expect a harvest of as much as 13 million tonnes.

Sihlobo says exporting only 1 million tonnes could potentially place an extra R2.5 billion in the country's coffers.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)