Thursday, January 24, 2013

Maize production in Zimbabwe

As is often the case, I think I've found the answer to the question posed in the post below immediately after pressing publish.

Here's a nice table showing maize production in Zimbabwe since 1960:

Market YearProductionUnit of MeasureGrowth Rate
19601014(1000 MT)NA
1961894(1000 MT)-11.83 %
1962720(1000 MT)-19.46 %
1963716(1000 MT)-0.56 %
1964822(1000 MT)14.80 %
1965952(1000 MT)15.82 %
19661517(1000 MT)59.35 %
1967797(1000 MT)-47.46 %
19681571(1000 MT)97.11 %
19691048(1000 MT)-33.29 %
19701802(1000 MT)71.95 %
19712338(1000 MT)29.74 %
1972946(1000 MT)-59.54 %
19732090(1000 MT)120.93 %
19741743(1000 MT)-16.60 %
19751709(1000 MT)-1.95 %
19761658(1000 MT)-2.98 %
19771616(1000 MT)-2.53 %
19781205(1000 MT)-25.43 %
19791760(1000 MT)46.06 %
19802767(1000 MT)57.22 %
19811786(1000 MT)-35.45 %
1982884(1000 MT)-50.50 %
19831400(1000 MT)58.37 %
19842952(1000 MT)110.86 %
19852545(1000 MT)-13.79 %
19861100(1000 MT)-56.78 %
19872229(1000 MT)102.64 %
19881928(1000 MT)-13.50 %
19892171(1000 MT)12.60 %
19901586(1000 MT)-26.95 %
1991360(1000 MT)-77.30 %
19922000(1000 MT)455.56 %
19932160(1000 MT)8.00 %
1994889(1000 MT)-58.84 %
19952600(1000 MT)192.46 %
19961922(1000 MT)-26.08 %
19971466(1000 MT)-23.73 %
19981520(1000 MT)3.68 %
19992148(1000 MT)41.32 %
20002148(1000 MT)0.00 %
20011467(1000 MT)-31.70 %
2002500(1000 MT)-65.92 %
2003800(1000 MT)60.00 %
2004900(1000 MT)12.50 %
2005750(1000 MT)-16.67 %
2006900(1000 MT)20.00 %
2007700(1000 MT)-22.22 %
2008525(1000 MT)-25.00 %
2009650(1000 MT)23.81 %
20101000(1000 MT)53.85 %
20111450(1000 MT)45.00 %
2012965(1000 MT)-33.45 %


The keen eyes among you will spot that production in 2011 was roughly equivalent to that in 1997 and 1998. QED? Not really. I was in Zimbabwe in 1997-8 as it happens, and it was a period of unusually low rainfall - not the sort of drought seen in the early nineties, but definitely a poor harvest thanks to the weather. Apparently this was part of the El Nino phenomenon that absolutely everyone was talking about then and no-one really mentions now.

Farther to the north, in Zimbabwe, there were areas with virtually no rainfall from early February through the nominal end of the rainy season, in April.

So, cherrypicking the best year of the 2000s against a below average year in the 90s, ignoring the fact that production fell sharply in 2012, and is predicted to fall again in 2013. Nice work if you can get it.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a lot of volatility, even from year to year (therefore assuming a degree of consistency - good or bad - in the socio-political environment.) Not being a farming type, is this as typical for say UK or US production figures, or is it something more aligned to countries with more volatile weather conditions?

SE

2:19 pm  
Anonymous Dr Makajaz said...

I'm a conservative, not defending Mugabe but the increase isn't in corn production its in tobacco http://allafrica.com/stories/201301120109.html

3:37 pm  
Blogger Tim J said...

1 - Most of the extreme volatility pre-2000 was drought related. Maize is very vulnerable to drought, and some years (notably in the early 90s) were very bad. I'm no farmer either, but I'd have thought this is something you get when you're dependent on good specific rainy seasons?

2 - The tobacco story's a good one - a genuine success story. But they're still a long long way off pre-2000 production (~140k tons vs 220k tons). If Steele was really talking about tobacco, you'd think he'd have said so!

More broadly, Zim agriculture is/was divided into consumption crops and cash crops. First category clearly down, and so is second - the recovery in tobacco balanced by the collapse in coffee, sugar and flowers.

5:17 pm  

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