Zimbabwe’s bumper harvest story gains international acclaim

by | May 29, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments


Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa

Zimbabwe`s bumper harvest, which by now has withered all doubt, has gained international acclaim with top experts sharing the story as a case study of deliberate agricultural policies and its role in cementing food security.

Dr Wandile Sihlobo, the Chief economist of Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz) and a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council said the country is likely to have its biggest harvest since 1984.

In an article, Sihlobo said; “Zimbabwe’s maize crop could reach 2.7 million tonnes, the largest garvest since 1984.This is due to expansion in area planted and favourable rainfall since the start of the season” he said.

“This is not just government view, but the private sector and global institutions.” He further adds that; “Importantly, Zimbabwe will have the largest maize surplus in nearly three decades, as its annual maize consumption is between 1,8 and 2.0 million tonnes,” added Dr Sihlobo.

Dr Sihlobo was writing in his role as AgriBiz Chief Economist to advise South Africa on way forward after Zimbabwean authorities had suspended all maize and maize meal imports.

Zimbabwe was one of South Africa’s biggest importers of maize from South Africa having imported 20 percent of South Africa total maize exports last season.

Dr Sihlobo`s findings are in alignment with figures from The United States Department of Agriculture which has projections similar to that of Zimbabwe Government.

The USDA says; “the domestic crop could reach 2.7 million tonnes, the largest harvest since 1984.” The views from local analysts generally concur with USDA’s forecast that Zimbabwe is likely to have a good maize yield…”

The Zimbabwean government itself has predicted figures in the same range and has published figures that show a turnaround in Agricultural productivity.

A lot of planning went into the increase in maize output. The hugely successful Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept, Presidential Agricultural Inputs Scheme and Command Agriculture program are all carefully planned and executed policy interventions by Government.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Dr John Basera, today launched the Second Phase of Pfumvudza in Domboshava. Pfumvudza is now a fully mechanized concept and has now matured to become Hurudza.

The concept is meant to move from just food sustainability to wealth creation. With food sustainability achieved, the next phase is to achieve wealth for the farmers. The better the farming methods, the higher the expected yield and therefore higher chances of wealth creation.