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.


When the Pioneer Column arrived in 1890, maize was found to be grown here, and they obtained seed from them. 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.


  1. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019