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'''Maize''', ground to mealie meal and made into [[sadza]], is and has always been the staple diet of the majority of Zimbabweans. White maize (sometimes Flint Maize) as opposed to yellow maize or corn is the most common in Africa.  
+
'''Maize''', ground to mealie meal and made into [[sadza]], is, and has always been, the staple diet of the majority of Zimbabweans. White maize (sometimes Flint Maize) as opposed to yellow maize or 'corn' is the most common in Africa.  
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
When the [[Pioneer Column]] arrived in '''1890''', maize was found to be grown here.  
+
When the [[Pioneer Column]] arrived in '''1890''', maize was found to be grown here, and they obtained seed from them. There are indications it was introduced here some time before C19.
 +
 
 +
In '''1903''', the Department of Agriculture was formed, a journal was published,  and experimental farms were established, all with the objective of producing sufficient product to be exported. About 50 000 bags were grown then, all consumed locally. In '''1909''', enough was produced to allow for substantial exports. In '''1921''', a survey showed that that year's crop of 1 200 000 bags was produced by 963 farmers. A breeding programme began in '''1932''', and seed was available by '''1949''' - '''1950'''.
 +
 
 +
Falling prices around '''1931''' led to the formation of the Maize Control Board, then WW2 disruptions led to the [[Maize Control Act]] in '''1940''', which was replaced in '''1950''' by the [[Grain Marketing Act]], which set up a government monopoly on most grains including [[beans]], [[rapoko]], [[sorghum]], [[mhunga]] and others. In '''1952''' the [[Grain Marketing Board]] replaced the Maize Control Board and became, outside the subsistence economy, the sole authority for marketing grains in the country.
 +
 
 +
Maize was Zimbabwe's most valuable crop until WW2 when it was overtaken by [[tobacco]]. <ref name= "Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia"> [R. Kent Rasmussen (ed),  Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia] (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1979) Retrieved 27 July 2021" </ref>
 +
 
 +
In 2007/08 government set up the [[Grain Mobilisation Programme]]. <br/>
 +
See [[Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR)]]. <br/>
 +
 
 +
==Production==
 +
'''1985''' - '''1986''', area under maize was estimated at 200 000ha. Average yield 4.0 tonnes/ha.
 +
End 1983 - 84 (drought year), stocks held by GMB were 122 700 tonnes.
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable"
 +
|+ Maize Production 1979 - 1985
 +
|-
 +
! Farm Type !! 79/80 !! 80/81 !! 81/82 !! 82/83 !! 83/84 !! 84/85 !! 85/86
 +
|-
 +
| '''Large Commercial''' ||  ||  ||  ||  ||  ||  ||
 +
|-
 +
| Area (000ha) || 191 || 218 || 287 || 262 || 223 || 190 || 200
 +
|-
 +
| Yield (t/ha) || 3 699 || 4 066 || 5 975 || 4 277 || 2 582 || 4 300 || 5 900
 +
|-
 +
| '''Small Commercial''' ||  ||  ||  ||  ||  ||  ||
 +
|-
 +
| Area (000ha) || 30 || 31 || 39 || 46 || 49 || 30 || 40
 +
|-
 +
| Yield (t/ha) || n/a || n/a || 2 522 || 1 518 || 472 || 400 || 700
 +
|-
 +
| '''Communal''' ||  || ||  ||  ||  ||  ||
 +
|-
 +
| Area (000ha) || 600 || 900 || 1 114 || 1 100 || 1 050 || 1 136 || 1 188
 +
|-
 +
| Crop reaped || 420 || 700 || 957 || 595 || 285 || 454 || 1712
 +
|-
 +
| '''Est. Total''' (000t) || '''1 160''' || '''1 625''' || '''2 767''' || '''1 706''' || '''844''' || '''1 283''' || '''2 960'''
 +
|-
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
In '''1986''', eight locally produced hybrids were readily available. Early to late maturing varieties. 
 +
 
 +
==Planting and Weed Control (1986 best practice)==
 +
Maize is best planted by mid-November. Later panting will result in lower yiilds (in regular conditions). <br/>
 +
Row widths - 100cm, 90cm and 75cm. Increased herbicide use leading to 75cm being more common (USA widths are usually 75cm). <br/>
 +
Depth - commonly 50mm. <br/>
 +
 
 +
==Fertilisation==
 +
Nitrogen, sulphur, phosphate and potassium most frequently added chemicals.
 +
 
 +
==Irrigation==
 +
Can produce yeilds above 10 tonnes per hectare.
 +
 
 +
==Pests==
 +
Maize stalk borer, maize snout beetle, cutworms, surface beetles, Africa armyworm, maize caterpillar, cobworm, termits, leaf hoppers and aphids.
 +
 
 +
==Harvesting==
 +
March (for early planted), May to July for late planted.
 +
 
 +
==Drying and Storage==
 +
Natural and artificial drying can be widely used.  
  
 
<ref name="Encyclopedia Zimbabwe"> [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe'', (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019'' </ref>
 
<ref name="Encyclopedia Zimbabwe"> [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe'', (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019'' </ref>

Latest revision as of 14:23, 12 October 2021

Maize, ground to mealie meal and made into sadza, is, and has always been, the staple diet of the majority of Zimbabweans. White maize (sometimes Flint Maize) as opposed to yellow maize or 'corn' is the most common in Africa.

History

When the Pioneer Column arrived in 1890, maize was found to be grown here, and they obtained seed from them. There are indications it was introduced here some time before C19.

In 1903, the Department of Agriculture was formed, a journal was published, and experimental farms were established, all with the objective of producing sufficient product to be exported. About 50 000 bags were grown then, all consumed locally. In 1909, enough was produced to allow for substantial exports. In 1921, a survey showed that that year's crop of 1 200 000 bags was produced by 963 farmers. A breeding programme began in 1932, and seed was available by 1949 - 1950.

Falling prices around 1931 led to the formation of the Maize Control Board, then WW2 disruptions led to the Maize Control Act in 1940, which was replaced in 1950 by the Grain Marketing Act, which set up a government monopoly on most grains including beans, rapoko, sorghum, mhunga and others. In 1952 the Grain Marketing Board replaced the Maize Control Board and became, outside the subsistence economy, the sole authority for marketing grains in the country.

Maize was Zimbabwe's most valuable crop until WW2 when it was overtaken by tobacco. [1]

In 2007/08 government set up the Grain Mobilisation Programme.
See Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR).

Production

1985 - 1986, area under maize was estimated at 200 000ha. Average yield 4.0 tonnes/ha. End 1983 - 84 (drought year), stocks held by GMB were 122 700 tonnes.

Maize Production 1979 - 1985
Farm Type 79/80 80/81 81/82 82/83 83/84 84/85 85/86
Large Commercial
Area (000ha) 191 218 287 262 223 190 200
Yield (t/ha) 3 699 4 066 5 975 4 277 2 582 4 300 5 900
Small Commercial
Area (000ha) 30 31 39 46 49 30 40
Yield (t/ha) n/a n/a 2 522 1 518 472 400 700
Communal
Area (000ha) 600 900 1 114 1 100 1 050 1 136 1 188
Crop reaped 420 700 957 595 285 454 1712
Est. Total (000t) 1 160 1 625 2 767 1 706 844 1 283 2 960

In 1986, eight locally produced hybrids were readily available. Early to late maturing varieties.

Planting and Weed Control (1986 best practice)

Maize is best planted by mid-November. Later panting will result in lower yiilds (in regular conditions).
Row widths - 100cm, 90cm and 75cm. Increased herbicide use leading to 75cm being more common (USA widths are usually 75cm).
Depth - commonly 50mm.

Fertilisation

Nitrogen, sulphur, phosphate and potassium most frequently added chemicals.

Irrigation

Can produce yeilds above 10 tonnes per hectare.

Pests

Maize stalk borer, maize snout beetle, cutworms, surface beetles, Africa armyworm, maize caterpillar, cobworm, termits, leaf hoppers and aphids.

Harvesting

March (for early planted), May to July for late planted.

Drying and Storage

Natural and artificial drying can be widely used.

[2]

  1. [R. Kent Rasmussen (ed), Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia] (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1979) Retrieved 27 July 2021"
  2. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019