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Harvesting of the 2020 maize crop, the major cereal grown in the country, concluded in June, and production is estimated at a bumper 3.4 million tonnes, the second-largest output on record and 65 percent above the reduced level in 2019. The sharp increase reflects both an expansion in the area planted and a recovery in yields compared to the reduced levels in the previous year, reflecting improved growing conditions. Conducive weather during the planting period, together with remunerative prices, instigated an expansion in maize plantings, which surpassed the five-year average. In addition, average to above-average seasonal rainfall totals across the country aided normal crop development and resulted in higher yields compared to the reduced levels of 2019. The good level of production was achieved despite crop losses in some areas of Southern, Western, Luapula, and Northern provinces, where heavy downpours caused localized floods and infestations of Fall Armyworm (FAW), which affected about 15 percent of the total area planted with maize, mostly in Southern and Central provinces.