Finish yellow first


Zimbabweans will have to be more resourceful to obtain white maize meal as authorities are reported to have restricted the supply of white maize until the present stocks of yellow mealie meal have run out.

The reason behind the move is that yellow maize does not last as long as white maize and should therefore be consumed before it goes bad.

Most people detest yellow maize meal especially the imported type as they claim it causes stomach upsets. There has been no conclusive evidence to support this.

Its introduction has also been accompanied by adverse reports that some of the yellow maize, particularly that from Argentina has a high aflatoxin content. Aflatoxin is a maize fungus promoted by dry weather and is suspected to cause cancer.

Argentina is reported to have failed to reduce the aflatoxin content of its yellow maize whose worldwide standard has been reduced from previous 20 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion.

Even in Kenya, where yellow maize meal is more acceptable hence its name here Kenya, people there loathe it because it is thought to inhibit conception. Apparently the only reason that made people think so was that it was introduced at the same time that the government was running its family planning programme.

Incidentally, there have been reports that there is plenty of white maize in troubled Uganda which apparently had a good season. Although Uganda stopped food exports in March it has since lifted the ban.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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