Government allays fears of starvation

by | Feb 6, 2024 | Business, Crime & Courts, Health, Latest, Local News | 0 comments

Government allays fears of starvation

Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa

 

The nation has enough grain stocks for both human and livestock consumption to last up to next April, allaying any fears that there would be anyone starving for lack of food, a government Minister has said.

This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Minister, Dr. Jenfan Muswere during a post cabinet media briefing in Harare this evening following a first sitting of the Cabinet of 2024.

Dr Muswere said this following a report on the presentation on the Update on Summer Crops and Tobacco Marketing by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr. Anxious Jongwe Masuka.

Dr Muswere said, “Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the country produced 2.57 million metric tonnes of maize and traditional grains during the 2022/2023 season. Zimbabwe consumes 2.2 million metric tonnes of maize/traditional grains (1.8 metric tonnes for food and 400 000 for stock feed). This translates to 6 027 metric tonnes daily, with 4 931 metric tonnes going towards human consumption. The monthly human consumption requirement is 150 000 metric tonnes.”

He assured the nation that there will be enough grain before the commencement of the next maize/traditional grains intake in April 2024. Wheat stocks of 247 371 metric tonnes as at 28 January, 2024 will last eleven months, at a monthly drawdown rate of 21 000 metric tonnes.

Regarding the summer crops marketing update, Dr Muswere said is that the total marketed crops was 526 082 metric tonnes for the 2022/2023 summer crops, out of which the GMB purchased 210 579 metric tonnes. The GMB intake constituted 39% market share for all the marketed crops.

About tobacco, a total of 36.8 million kilograms has been exported this year, at an average price of US$7.33 per kilogram, compared to the 11.6 million kilograms exported over a similar period in 2023 at an average price of US$4.31 per kg.

Dr Muswere said, “As the nation may recall, from a record production of 296 million kilogrammes under the Second Republic, 236 031 405 kilogrammes of tobacco worth US$1 237 342 456 was subsequently exported in 2023. Most of the tobacco being sold in 2024 is destined for the Far East, Africa, the Middle East, and European Union markets.”

A total of 88 747 082 kilogrammes of seed cotton was marketed as at 25 January, 2024, compared to the 55 972 612 kilogrammes sold over a corresponding period in 2023.