Drought will have negative economic consequences for the country as it will drive inflation and push more people into extreme poverty, an economist has said.
Reports indicate that most of the summer crops are now in critical need of rainfall and will be a write-off if there is no significant rainfall in the coming few days.
An economist, Gift Mugano, said a drought will have a negative impact on the manufacturing sector as most of the raw materials come from the agricultural sector. Said Mugano:
The drought, which we are witnessing will come with a negative impact on the economy.
You need to know that 70 per cent of the raw materials we use in the manufacturing sector come from the agricultural sector, so with this kind of a drought, we will be forced to import more and this will result in huge demand for foreign currency and pressure on the exchange rate and inflation.
Once that happens, inflation will turn its ugly head on us. The drought will also have social consequences on society.
We expect to see more people enter into poverty because of the absence of food security.
The latest figures from Zimstats in terms of people who are in extreme poverty is around 49 per cent.
With this drought, we expect to have more than half of the population of this country enter into poverty.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFC) executive director Paul Zakariya the drought situation is bad in the Matabeleland Provinces as well as Midlands and Manicaland. He said:
Much of the crop in the south of the country is severely stressed, reaching nearly wilting point.
We have also covered Matabeleland North and South as well as Midlands and if these provinces do not receive the rains in the next two or three days, it will be a possible write off. The situation is equally bad in Manicaland Province.