White maize is a staple crop for human consumption in Namibia, and it is produced under both rainfed and irrigated production systems in various crop production zones of the country. The marketing of locally produced white maize grains is regulated through the White Maize Marketing Mechanisms/Agreement signed by organized producers and millers. In order to facilitate the marketing of locally produced white maize grain, production data is collected at the beginning of each planting season to estimate the expected production and inform the determination of the expected availability of grain and the beginning of the close and open border period.
During the 2021 marketing season, a total of 90,895 tons of white maize was marketed from May 1 to March 31, 2022. A total of 94,437 tons of white maize is expected to be harvested and marketed during the 2022 production/marketing season from a total of 31,944 hectares, representing an increase of 3,542 tons (4%), compared to the 2021 marketing season. The good harvest expected is attributed to good rainfall received in many crop-growing areas of Namibia during the 2021/2022 planting season and the increase in the number of hectares planted in the country.
Methodology The white maize production data was collected using the subjective yield estimation method, which involves the estimation of crop yield based on the producer’s experience of yield estimation, and data was validated based on average yields per hectare per production area for the previous seasons. Data was collected by sending crop estimates data collection forms to the producers via email and also made available on the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAB) website. Completed forms from the Agricultural Development Centres (ADCs) were thereafter captured into Excel, cleaned, and analyzed using both graphical and tabulation analysis.
Production Forecast 2022 The expected production quantities, domestic demand analysis, tonnages expected, hectares planted, expected average yield per hectare, the number of producers registered, and the historical white maize grain trade statistics on tonnage were analyzed to determine the production forecast for 2022.
Expected production quantities and domestic demand analysis Namibia is expecting a surplus harvest of locally produced white maize from May 2022 to June 2022. A total of 29,738 tons of white maize is projected to be readily available for marketing, while the average demand is estimated at 14,736 tons, indicating a surplus of 15,002 tons. The next two months (June/July) also show surplus availability of grain, with June showing a peak harvest (33,665 tons) and the highest surplus (18,925 tons) availability of grain. Although there will be a deficit availability of grain from August to December 2022, a sufficient supply of grain is expected to last until November 2022 due to the high/over-surplus projected from May to July 2022.
Expected tonnage from irrigated and rainfed production The biggest tonnage of white maize grain is expected to be harvested from rainfed production in the Karst area (22,990 tons), followed by the Zambezi (10,000 tons) and the lowest from the North Central area (748 tons).
The production forecast for 2022 shows a positive outlook for the white maize industry in Namibia, with an expected surplus of white maize during the peak harvest period. This will ensure that the country has adequate white maize stocks to meet the domestic demand for human consumption. Additionally, the increased production of white maize will positively impact the economy by increasing the incomes of small-scale farmers who produce the crop.
Namibian Agronomic Board: AGRONOMY MARKET DEVELOPMENT SUBDIVISION