Due to higher than usual rainfall, Zimbabwe expects to harvest up to 2.8 million tonnes of maize this year, three times the output from 2020.
Presenting the state of preparedness for the 2020/21 harvesting period, Lands and Agriculture Minister, Anxious Masuka on Tuesday told Cabinet Ministers that a bumper harvest was expected following a season of good rains.
He said “An estimated national production of 2.5 to 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize and 360 000 metric tonnes of traditional grains has been based on the promising bumper harvest in 2021”
Zimbabwe endured devastating droughts in the past two years, which cut maize harvest to 900,000 tonnes in 2020, half its annual requirements. Recent rainfall has boosted the country’s dam volumes which will enable farmers to reap more this year, the ministry of information said in a post-cabinet statement.
“For planning purposes, an estimated national production of 2.5 to 2.8 million metric tonnes of maize…has been based on the promising bumper harvest in 2021,” the statement said.
Farmers were expected to deliver 1.8 million tonnes of maize to the state-owned grains company, which has the monopoly to buy maize in Zimbabwe. The economy is projected to rebound after last year’s recession brought on by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and protracted droughts.
The government has set a producer price of 32,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($381) per tonne for white maize.
Before now, Zimbabwe exported an estimated 400 000 metric tonnes of maize annually, which represents 6 percent of Africa’s total output.