500 000 hectares of planted maize crop a write off – Made

Zimbabwe faces serious hunger as 500 000 hectares of the planted maize crop during the 2011-2012 farming season is a write off, Agriculture and Mechanization Minister, Joseph Made has revealed.

Joseph Made
Joseph Made

“According to the final crop assessment by the government, this past farming season 1 600 000 hectares of the maize crop was planted but because of lack of rain, 500 000 hectares is a write off. The planted crops suffered moisture stress because of the pronged dry spell. We face hunger as a result and urgent measures are needed to avert deaths due to starvation. The rains really let us down,” Made said in an interview.

This leaves the country with only 1 100 000 million hectares of the planted maize crop against the national grain requirement stands at two million tonnes of maize per annum.

Made added that there is a need for the Finance Ministry to avail funds to sustain the grain loan scheme and for the rollout of food for work programmes for hunger facing provinces of the country.

China has since donated $14 million worth of food aid to Zimbabwe in an attempt to ease the eminent food crisis facing country’s populace.

According to statistics from the World Food Program (WFP) indicated that more than one million Zimbabweans are said to be in need of food aid between now and March 2012 following the continuous dry spell that has been affecting the national produce.

The southern African country has struggled to feed itself since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe began a drive to seize white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks, leading to a sharp fall in agricultural output.

Production of the staple maize started to recover after President Robert Mugabe formed a unity government with his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and rose from less than 500,000 tonnes in 2007-8 to 1.45 million tonnes in the 2010/11 season.

Post published in: News

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