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05 Dec 2014

Minister Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Minister Zhi Shuping, (General Administration for Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ), Beijing) yesterday afternoon signed the protocol for phytosanitary requirements for maize exports to China. Mr Jannie de Villiers, Chief Executive Officer of Grain SA said that this is good news for market access of South African maize to the Chinese market. This agreement will play a vital role in laying a solid foundation for the sustainable growth of the agricultural sector in South Africa.

China imported on average 2.9 million tons of maize per year over the last five years. The imports varied annually from 980,000 tons to 5.2 million tons. The expectation is that China will have to import 2.5 million tons of maize for the September 2015 marketing year. China usually imports maize from the USA, but have also since 2013 began importing maize from Argentina and the Ukraine.

Redirecting trade to new and possibly more sustainable markets remains a key focus area of Grain SA. To this end, innovative interventions are continuously sought and required to capitalise on these markets. The focus is particularly on finding alternative markets for maize other than the current established African markets. This can be any market in Asia, the Middle East and beyond. Compliance to biosecurity remains a key focus area for our grains for international and regional market access. South Africa has an advantage above other competitors in the market due to its favourable location for exports and our ability to produce some of the best quality crops. South African grain producers constantly produce surplus crops, which not only benefits the consumer by way of affordable staple food, but also contributes to the country’s export earnings. Permanent export markets such as China will encourage local producers to continue producing surpluses, which also ensures the food security of South Africa.

The development of the export market for maize to China follows the hard work started by Neels Ferreira, former Chairperson of Grain SA and Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson (former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) whom initiated the process in 2011. Grain SA would like to extend its gratitude towards Minister Zokwana and the personnel at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in particular Dr Julian Jaftha en Ms Alice Baxter, for the hard work that they have done to conclude the agreement. “This really means a lot to the people of South Africa and the producers who feed the nation.” Mr Jannie de Villiers, CEO, Grain SA said.


Issued by:

Grain SA Communications

Further enquiries:

Jannie de Villiers, CEO, Grain SA
086 004 7246