Government and the private sector are determined to improve the local production of grain such as wheat.
Zimbabwe, once the Southern Africa’s breadbasket, handicapped to produce enough food such as wheat and soya-bean is relying mainly on imports which are gobbling hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
During the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe’s extraordinary congress held in the capital this Friday, Minister of Industry and Commerce Mangaliso Ndlovu called upon stakeholders to establish and deal with challenges affecting the wheat and grain supply value chain.
“We are only producing 25-30 percent of our grain needs due to supply side and production constraints. Lets engage because we have capacity enough for ourselves and to even export,” said Cde Ndlovu.
“The situation in the country requires urgent efforts to mitigate against the effects of climatic change on our ability to grow enough grain. There are issues to do with irrigation and technical support that need to be looked at in order to increase local production,” said Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Climate, Water and Rural Resettlement Permanent Secretary Mr Ringson Chitsiko.
“Government needs to provide enough resources to the Meteorological Services Department so that they are able to provide reliable and accurate weather and climatic information which farmers can depend on to lessen production risks,” Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Denfod Mutashu said.
Bread shortages have been allayed following the resumption of wheat imports after Cyclone Idai.
“Roads in Manicaland have been cleared and Beira port terminals also repaired so we are not going to experience any bread shortages,” said Grains Millers of Zimbabwe Chairperson Mr Tafadzwa Musarara.
Zimbabwe will once again experience poor harvests on the back of the El-Nino weather condition which caused erratic rainfall patterns.