HARARE – Zimbabwe has availed US$29.1 million for winter wheat farmers as it bids to guarantee national food security, ENN reports. The financial support, equivalent to ZWL$2.5 billion, to be provided through a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) facility comes on the back of a successful agricultural season as Zimbabwe moves in to guarantee self-food sustenance by the year 2023. For the year 2021, the country is expecting a bumper maize in excess of 2.7 million tonnes. If achieved, this maize harvest would be 300% more than the 900 thousand tonnes harvested in 2020.
In August 2020, Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, a roadmap that targets to achieve a US $8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025. Since its launch, there has been significant agriculture policy shifts in Zimbabwe, including the controversial review of land allocations on account of usage and productivity. After leading a chaotic land reallocation exercise from minority white farmers to majority black peasants in 2000, Zimbabwe’s agricultural fortunes have been on a downward spiral. The land reform programme earned Zimbabwe a ticket onto the United States of America economic sanctions list. With a limited skillset, a changing climate, a constrained resource capacity and a communist mindset to land ownership, it took the new Zimbabwean farmer almost two decades to appreciate that farming is a business. “The government is targeting 85,000 hectares of winter wheat this year under three programs as follows; 60,000ha under command agriculture, 15,000ha under private investors and 10,000ha under a Presidential Inputs Scheme,” the Zimbabwe Minister of Agriculture Anxious Masuka was quoted saying.