500 000 tonnes maize in grain reserves

500 000 tonnes maize in grain reserves
Published: 29 January 2018
THE Government has said the nation should not panic over the erratic rains this cropping season because in the event of farmers failing to harvest, the country has enough grain reserves.

The country has been experiencing a dry spell since the beginning of the year and this has caused panic.

Indications are that the dry spell is likely to continue and reports are that most crops particularly in the Southern half of the country are now a write-off.

In an interview, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister, Davis Marapira said the country has 500 000 tonnes of maize in its strategic grain reserve, which was enough to sustain the country up to next year.

He said the public should not panic regardless of the prolonged dry spell as most crops under irrigation were still in a better condition.

He said the country last year had a bumper-harvest which has reduced the number of people in need of food aid.

"While we acknowledge that we had below average rainfall so far this summer cropping season, people should not panic because we have adequate maize in our strategic grain reserve. This can sustain us for close to a year.

Last year we had good rains and people had a bumper harvest. In terms of maize most communal farmers still have food.

"Also our crop is not a complete write off. There are other areas where crops are still in a better condition. We also have crops under irrigation so people should not panic at all," he said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also assured the nation that there is enough food despite the prevailing signs of a drought year.

Addressing Chiefs at the Chiefs Indaba in Gweru recently President Mnangagwa said the country last year produced in excess of two million tonnes of maize following successful implementation of Command Agriculture.

He said the country had adequate stocks of grain in the strategic grain reserves which could sustain the nation up to next year.

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) recently advised farmers to irrigate their crops following erratic rains.

"Irrigation is a must for those with infrastructure and availability of water sources," it said.
- chronicle
Tags: Maize,


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