Zimbabwe records 600k MT excess of grain reserves

Leafias Mazviro

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr John Basera has said food is being distributed from surplus districts to 18 districts of the country which are in need of food aid through the Social Welfare Program.

Writing on social media, Dr. Basera said Zimbabwe is food secure with a surplus of 600 000 metric tonnes of grains.

“Zim is food secure, with a surplus of 600 000MT. Up to 18 districts mostly dry parts of the country are in deficit and require food aid. All the other districts have a surplus. Food is being distributed from surplus districts to deficit areas under the Social Welfare Program,” Dr Basera said.

Recently, Dr. Basera said Zimbabwe is ready to export 40 000 tonnes of maize to East Africa following the bumper harvest which the country has recorded.

He added that Zimbabwe is targeting to export to central Africa following the country had received enquiries.

“We are also targeting central Africa. We have enquiries in countries in central Africa and we will be exporting over 40 000 tonnes of cereals or maize to East Africa this year,” Dr. Basera said.

Zimbabwe is ready to resume grain exports this year with initial exports of 40 000 tonnes of grain to East Africa from the substantial surpluses grown by the farmers as the Second Republic’s agriculture policies continue to guarantee good harvests.

Wheat exports are also being considered after Zimbabwe attained self-sufficiency for the first time last year and should be reaping a significant surplus over the next few months.

The huge expansion in harvests has not only produced exportable surpluses of grain, after all local consumption needs are met both by farmers and the nation, but required carryover stocks and reserves to cope with a serious drought, but is also creating a very large rural middle class of farmers who are earning ever larger incomes, a vital requirement if Zimbabwe is to achieve upper middle-income status by 2030.

Zimbabwe has so far harvested more than 2,3 million tonnes of maize and 300 000 tonnes of traditional grains and there is carryover stock of 300 000 tonnes of maize from the previous season, so exports now become possible again.

The agriculture sector has already hit the initial 2025 target of becoming a US$8,2 billion industry. This target was achieved in 2021, when the industry grew by 36,2 percent.

As reported by the Herald, Dr Basera maize exports by the country is a milestone for Zimbabwe, which was recently a food importer owing to persistent droughts.

“After the promulgation and indeed the rolling out of the agricultural recovery growth plan we are projecting a surplus this year in 2022/ 2023 season and we are projecting a harvest of 2,9 million tonnes of summer cereals. These are against an annual requirement of 2,2 million tonnes and leaving a surplus of around 600 tonnes.

We are at the prospect of exporting.”

Dr Basera applauded Mashonaland Central for contributing quite significantly in food production.

“Mashonaland Central is number 2 in food production while Mashonaland West is number 1 This year they also contributed significantly as well maybe up to 15 up to 20 percent of the total hectarage achieved this year,” he said.

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