The Zanu-PF Politburo yesterday expressed satisfaction with the crop situation in the country, amid indications that maize output will surpass the national annual consumption.
This year’s success is attributed to good rains, a well-structured Government Command Agriculture programme and support given to farmers under the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme.
This pours cold water on critics within the party of the Command Agriculture, principally secretary for Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo, who has been lambasting the scheme on social media.
Speaking after the Zanu-PF Politburo meeting in Harare yesterday, the revolutionary party’s secretary for administration Cde Ignatius Chombo said Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made had presented a comprehensive report on the crop situation in the country.
“He (Dr Made) expressed satisfaction at the crop situation in the country and estimated that maize output would surpass the national annual consumption of 1,8 million tonnes,” he said.
“Cotton output is expected to double due to the favourable rains and the deliberate effort to promote it through the Presidential Input Scheme. There is marginal increase to date in tobacco output, which has already started selling at $4,60 per kg.”
Cde Chombo said Cde Made had also briefed the Politburo on the preparations for winter-wheat under Command Agriculture.
“He reported that of the 50 000 hectares targeted for wheat this winter, more than 42 000ha had been identified,” he said.
Government, together with the private sector has harnessed about $500 million to finance Command Agriculture, which targets to produce about two million tonnes of maize from 400 000 hectares this season.
The scheme performed beyond expectations and indications are that the majority of farmers under the programme would exceed the minimum five tonnes yield per hectare, with some expecting harvests of between eight to 14 tonnes per hectare.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who leads a Cabinet Committee on Food Security, recently announced that Government had suspended grain imports, as the country had enough strategic grain reserves.
He said more deliveries from the anticipated bumper harvest were expected to boost food security.