Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Maize output revised downwards

Maize output revised downwards

April 12, 2013 in Business

THE Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) has revised downwards 2012’s 
maize output to 800 000 metric tonnes from an initial projection of 1,2 
million metric tonnes, owing to a dry spell and poor preparation for the 

Report by Gamma Mudarikiri

ZCFU president Wonder Chapikwa told businessdigest this week maize output 
would this year plunge to 800 000 metric tonnes against an annual 
consumption of 2,2 metric tonnes, due to a dry spell which hit most parts of 
the country late last year and at the beginning of this year.

The situation was further exacerbated by the late planting season and 
government’s failure to avail inputs on time, further compounded by the fact 
that most farmers were abandoning growing maize in preference to tobacco.

Chapikwa said the areas most affected by drought included Matabeleland South 
and North, part of Mashonaland East, while Mashonaland West and Mashonaland 
Central provinces were expected to have a better harvest. He said government’s 
plan to import maize to cover the deficit might be thwarted by high costs of 
maize, owing to the scarcity of grain in the region.

“There is general shortage of maize in the region, which means the 
government will be left only with the option to import and at a very high 
cost,” said Chapikwa.

Agriculture in Zimbabwe has been declining on the back of poor financing and 
poor planning, which have seen the country become a net importer of food 
over the past decade.

Last year, the country also recorded a deficit in maize production due to a 
dry spell. Planted hectarage in 2012 declined 19% to 1 689 786 hectares from 
2 096 035 hectares of maize planted in the previous year.

Chapikwa, however, said government should prioritise irrigation to revive 
maize production as waiting for the rain was no longer sustainable owing to 
changing rainfall patterns globally.


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