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Zimbabwe to import maize for drought relief

by Staff Reporter
01 Apr 2013 at 16:52hrs | Views
Government is considering importing grain which would be used for drought relief purposes as it is now clear that the dryer parts of the country are unlikely to obtain any meaningful harvest this season.

This decision comes at a time when farmers in the dry regions such as Matabeleland North and South, Bulawayo and some parts of Midlands Provinces have been urged to diversify crop production and venture into small grain production which is drought resistant to eliminate the effects of drought in the country.

The Governor and Resident Minister for Matabeleland North Province, Thokozile Mathuthu confirmed that both communal and resettled farmers who specialised in maize production were unlikely obtain a meaningful harvest this season as their crop is still in a better condition than maize.

"This therefore means that we will have to rely on government for food relief so that our communities do not suffer from this drought. Government is going to import most of the grain which will be used for drought relief although Mashonaland provinces have not done so bad and we will get some of the maize from them," she explained.

Mathuthu said it is unfortunate that the drought spell affected most of the maize crop despite government's efforts to provide farmers with inputs with the aim of improving food security in the country.

The situation has seen farmers in some parts of the province calling on the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to consider setting up irrigation schemes as a permanent solution to the drought prone regions in the country.

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Source - ZBC

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