Africa Agriculture Economy Farming Food Government Social Weather Zimbabwe

Drought is draining Zimbabwe grain stocks

Zimbabwe is facing back-to-back droughts, which is crippling its corn production leading the country to possible food shortages.

The country only has 100,000 tonnes of grain in its strategic reserves, Reuters said citing Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister. It is not expected to last longer than a month.

The grain reserve can store up to 500,000 tonnes but has been negatively impacted by a poor harvest, Reuters said.

On Jan. 22, 2020, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) acquired 100,000 of maize from South Africa and Brazil. The announcement comes after the government of Zimbabwe made the decision in December 2019 to allow millers and other groups to use free funds to import maize.

Reuters said Zimbabwe consumes 80,000 tonnes of maize each month.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in 2020, more than 7.7 million people — half the population — will face food insecurity at the peak of the lean season, as poor rains and erratic weather patterns have a negative impact on crop harvests and livelihood prospects.

The WFP noted that lack of access to markets and the rural Zimbabweans dependency on rain-fed agricultural also is affecting the country’s food security.

The Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told Reuters Zimbabwe should assist farmers with irrigation infrastructure to circumvent drought issues and it needs to import at least 800,000 tonnes of maize this year to help with the dwindling grain reserves.

Source: World Grain

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