Zimbabwe has enough grain stocks in its strategic grain reserve to ensure food security for both people and livestock up to the next harvest.
This came out in the Government’s second crop and livestock assessment report.
The report estimated that the country’s maize production fell 43% to 1 557 914 metric tonnes (MT) in the 2021/22 cropping season from 2 717 171 MT produced in the 2020/21 season.
The total cereal production is 1 752 014MT against a national cereal requirement of 2 267 599MT. 1 817 599MT is for human consumption and 350 000MT for livestock.
The Government expressed confidence that the 415 585 tonnes deficit will be filled by strategic reserves.
There was a surplus of 522 913 tonnes of cereals from last year’s harvest. Reads the report:
The country will meet its national food requirement up to the next harvest after considering strategic grain reserves.
Human consumption is computed from a consumption rate of 120kg a person per year and a national population estimate of 15 146 657.
The report further stated that rainfall distribution was poor in the 2021/22 cropping season.
Meanwhile, the Government has urged farmers to plant traditional crops which are more drought tolerant. The report read:
Traditional grains production for the 2021/2022 season is estimated at 194 100MT representing a 44% decrease from 347 968MT in 2020/2021.
Sorghum production is expected to be 144 633MT which is 41% lower than 244 063Mt obtained during the 2020/2021 season.
Pearl Millet Production is expected to be at 44 143MT which is 51% less than 90 683MT obtained during 2020/2021.
Finger Millet production is expected to be at 5 320MT which is a 60% decrease from 13 223Mt produced in the 2020/2021 season.
The report said that most Wards in the Mashonaland West and Central provinces have a cereal grain sufficiency of more than 12 months.
However, most of the Wards in the southern region of the country have cereal sufficiency lasting up to nine months only.