Skip to main content

Maize Productios

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 16 July 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that tea planters in Nyasaland have been informed that they are likely to get only 60 per cent. of the maize they require to feed their workers; that the price of imported maize is over seven times that of local maize, and that there is a tendency for farmers to reduce the acreage of maize in favour of tobacco; and whether the Government of Nyasaland will assist a large-scale maize production scheme, or undertake such a scheme of their own.

The likelihood of a shortage of locally grown maize for labour employed on estates has been foreseen for some while and a Maize Control Board was accordingly established last February to purchase and distribute all maize offered for sale. It has made an initial allocation to all employers of labour of 40 per cent. of their requirements. The final allocation is not yet known, but is unlikely to be more than 80 per cent. in all. The cost is estimated at about one quarter of the present cost of imported maize. The present high price of tobacco has tended to reduce maize acreage in some areas, but the basic cause of reduced supplies is the decreasing yield resulting from over-cultivation on light soils. The Governor has for some time been urging tea and other estate owners to grow more maize for their own workers and the ten-year agricultural development plan of the Protectorate has as one of its main aims the increased production of local foodstuffs. The Government has also informed the Tea Association that it will favourably consider applications for land for the production of maize on a large scale, provided that the land is not required for African settlement.