ZCFU sees upturn in maize output

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HARARE – Farmers have reviewed maize output to 900 000 tonnes from the projected 850 000 metric tonnes this year due to improved rains on the later stages of the season.

Government is confident that the country has adequate food reserves till the next harvest in 2019 due to 1, 5 million tonnes under the grain strategic reserve.

Initially the country has projected to harvest over 1, 7 million tonnes of grain but with a prolonged dry spell in January this year, these projections have since been reviewed downwards.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) president Wonder Chabikwa told BH24 that recent rains have revived the country’s hope on output.

“Though we don’t have the exact figures of the maize output, 900 000 tonnes may be attained due to late planted crop which did very well in most parts of the country. 

“Various farmers spectacularly recovered from the initial fall in January due to late January rains which improved even the early planted crop,” he said.

The Grain Marketing Board is expecting farmers to deliver over 750 000 tonnes and this will be added to 1, 5 million tonnes under SGR to make it over 2, 2 million tonnes of grain reserves.

Zimbabwe could save up to $260 million on maize imports if the current rains persist until the end of this month.

Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Ministry has always assured the country of sufficient food requirements until the next harvest.

Deputy Minister Davision Marapira recently said, “We might not get the expected output of maize due to prolonged dry spells in January but we are quite sure of a very good harvest as most of the late planted crop did well.

“We want to reassure the nation that the country has adequate food requirements up to the next harvesting season (April 2019) and considering that the heavy rains have revived our small crop, food self-sufficiency is guaranteed.

The country requires 1, 8 million tonnes for human and livestock consumption.

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