The Zimbabwean government has assured the nation that no one will die of hunger as prospects for this year’s agricultural season diminish due to poor rains.
Speaking during a post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday, Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, said the government was taking measures to ensure food security for the whole nation. She said:
Cabinet wishes to advise the nation that overall, the first-round crop and livestock survey confirmed that climate change is upon us and affecting agricultural production.
The nation is being assured that every effort is being made to ensure that no Zimbabwean will die of hunger. Adequate stocks of cereals are available for all needy families.
The country’s 2021/2022 farming season was marked by a false start to the season in most areas of the country, followed by an unevenly distributed rainfall pattern both in space and time, Mutsvangwa said.
As a result, the area planted to maize decreased by 1 per cent from 1 920 541 hectares in the 2020/21 season to 1 903 669 hectares in 2021/2022.
There was also a general decrease in the hectarage for crops planted with tobacco, the country’s major cash crop, declining by 11 per cent, sorghum 2 per cent, pearl millet 25 per cent, finger millet 40 per cent and cotton by 23 per cent.
Mutsvangwa said going forward, the government will intensify the implementation of several measures to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure household food self-sufficiency.
The announcement made by Mutsvangwa comes when Zimbabwe is already facing a shortage of wheat as a result of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The conflict is also likely to reduce aid to the Southern African country as donors have elsewhere to send humanitarian aid.