There have been mixed responses to reports that Zimbabwe had secured 400 000 metric tonnes of maize from neighbouring Zambia and Malawi.
In a recent statement, Tafadzwa Musarara, the chairman of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said he was “pleased to inform the nation that GMAZ has secured 400,000 metric tonnes of white maize from Malawi and Zambia.”
Zimbabwe is expecting maize production for the 2021/22 season to fall to 1.56 million tonnes, from the previous season’s multi-year record of 2.72 million tonnes.
Despite the drop, some argued that the nation did well considering that the nation received poor rainfalls.
Prominent author, Tsitsi Dangarembga had this to say:
“Zambia is exporting 200 000 tonnes of Maize to Zimbabwe & another set to the DRC.” Friends, let’s discuss with our children how we used to laugh at Zambians. Perhaps that will break our habit of foolish scorn of others. We must: what we do to others we in the end do to ourselves.
Baba Nyenyedzi, an economist, said importing maize from the neighbouring countries was not something to be ashamed of. He said:
There is absolutely no shame in importing maize from Zambia and Malawi. The shame is the intricate scheme that required tonnes of inputs ostensibly to produce 3m metric tonnes. The shame is 78% of farmers that perennial default on their CA loans. These are the real saboteurs!
One Maindidajuma @maindidajuma said it was actually embarrassing considering that “we tell everyone ivhu nderedu [we own the land] and we cant use it. Kupiwa zvese from tractors, inputs, fuel, herbicides.”
Maindidajuma @maindidajuma added that despite all the efforts to capacitate the farmers, the yields are still frustrating, therefore, “some farmers must lose those farms if we are to feed nyika yedu [the nation]”
Nyamasvisva @Blackwave10 attributed poor yields to the government’s failure to invest in agriculture. Said Nyamasvisva:
While other progressive nations are mechanising their agriculture, here vanambuya kwanzi varime nezvibhakera our grandmothers use their hands].
This was apparent disapproval of Zimbabwe’s Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept which is a crop production intensification approach under which farmers ensure the efficient use of resources (inputs and labour) on a small area of land in order to optimize its management, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Nyamasvisva alleged that political elites were the only ones benefiting from national farm mechanisation schemes.