South Africa’s largest grain terminal is ready to receive millions of tons of maize imports, aimed at combatting the ongoing drought. The Durban Agriport terminal is poised to handle the lion’s share of imports from across the world.
From 2 May, South Africa started importing almost 4-million tons of maize. The country traditionally exports maize, but officials have had to ask other countries for help, following lower crop yields.
Maize has become a precious resource at the height of the worst drought in South Africa since 1992. The terminal is one of three in the city that are playing a lead role in receiving imports and transporting maize across the country.
Moshe Motlohi, Durban Port manager says: “We have got a joint operations center. This is a center that really is going to be looking at the entire supply chain and saying from when the cargo arrives here to when it gets to the destination.”
The government anticipates that the country will need to import around 2,7-million tons of yellow maize and 1,1-million tons of white maize between now and April next year. In April, a shipment of over 1300 tons of white maize arrived from the US – South Africa’s largest maize import since 2004.
Durban port officials say they understand how dire the crop yield shortfall is and are committed to ensuring a fast turnaround of cargo.