Zimbabwe has reported a bumper harvest of maize and other grains capable of feeding for the next one year the country’s 14.65 million people.
According to Zimbabwe’s Second Crop and Livestock Assessment report, traditional grains production for the ending season is estimated at 347 968 tonnes compared to 152 515 tonnes harvested in 2019/2020. The increase in production has been attributed to the amount of rainfall and its distribution.
The report has revealed that most districts in Zimbabwe are harvesting enough maize and traditional grains to last more than 12 months with only a few areas having enough to cater for six months and below.
“In addition to the good rainfall season in the 2020/2021 season, the practice of climate proofed technologies significantly contributed to the increased yield levels supported by well-coordinated input programmes.
The report says, “There was marked improvement in maize yield across the country as a result of increased amount of rainfall and good distribution from the onset of the season in November 2020 to the end of February 2021.”
Under the President Mnangagwa government, new innovations have been implemented to revamp agriculture production. Some of the innovations include; the practice of climate proofed technologies (Pfumvudza/ Intwasa).
Pfumvudza is a crop production intensification approach under which farmers ensure the efficient use of resources (inputs and labour) on a small area of land. This farming concept aims at ensuring food, nutrition and livelihood security at household level.
Pfumvudza involves the utilisation of small pieces of land and applying the correct agronomic practices for higher returns. The approach can be used in marginal areas and still give high yields.
A total of 202 037 hectares were put under Pfumvudza maize and 1 066 755 tonnes are expected from that while 50 016 tonnes of sorghum are expected from the 10 634 hectares put under Pfumvudza.
Meanwhile, last week President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to propel Zimbabwe to reclaim Africa’s Breadbasket crown through implementing a series of adjustments in the country’s Agriculture systems.
He was speaking at a high-level dialogue on feeding Africa , under the theme “Leadership to scale up successful innovations”.
“In Zimbabwe between 2020 and 2021, crop yield is expected to increase by 199% for maize harvest, 128% for the harvest of traditional grains (and) 94% for cotton harvest,” President Mnangagwa said last week.
President Mnangagwa targets to shift Zimbabwe into a “Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Status by 2030.”
According to President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy launched last year premised on achieving a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025, is anchored on climate-smart technologies, extension services and increased innovations.