The Southern African region has a deficit of over 7.3 million metric tons of Maize for the 2016/17 marketing season. This came to light during A stock monitoring Committee held today, 26th August 2016 at the Ministry of Agriculture Offices in Lusaka. According to FEWSNET, the estimated Deficits for Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa are 953,000, 2.25 million tons, 1.75 million tons and 2.39 million tons respectively. The meeting noted that the high demand of maize in the region has increased Zambia’s informal trade especially in the Eastern Province. The meeting further noted that there was active participation of private players during the current marketing season. Concern was however raised on the continued inconsistencies in the national maize marketing policies which was affecting the planning of the private sector. It was therefore proposed that a sub-committee convenes next week to propose a marketing strategy that would ensure sustained and expanded production to not only meet the national requirements but also increase Zambia’s exports of maize into the region. It was further noted that purchases of maize by the Food Reserve Agency had been slow and proposed that government quickly pays farmers it owes over their supply of maize to FRA as this might trigger additional supplies from farmers. In attendance was representation from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), farmers, traders and millers among others.