HARARE – Zimbabwe is set to experience an almost 50% drop in maize production this year due to poor rainfall and a prolonged dry spell, the government has said.
The government has however ruled out a shortage of the staple food in a nation that is jumping from one crisis to another.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said in a post-cabinet statement Wednesday that cereal crops, including maize, also known as corn, are expected to fall by around 43% in 2022.
Mutsvangwa also revealed that maize production this year is estimated at 1.55 million tonnes, a massive drop from 2.7 million tonnes in 2021.
“Despite the decline in production owing to the vagaries of the weather, there is however enough maize in stock,” Mutsvangwa said.
Mutsvangwa urged millers and fodder producers to import grain to fill shortages of other grains – a tall order given expected shortages due to war in Ukraine, a big breadbasket.
The government recently adopted the Pfumvudza programme “a concept of conservation agriculture (CA) that is designed to meet food security for an average household of six members over one year.”
More than $4 billion is reported to have been spent on the Pfumvudza sceme to deal with famine issues and output level but no fruits have been enjoyed.
According to the World Food Program (WFP), at least 49% of Zimbabwe’s population lives in extreme poverty.
About 5.3 million people are considered “food insecure” due to the effects of climate change, stalled economies and COVID-19.
- Editor/ additional report by AFP