March 5, 2024

The Zimbabwe government is racing against time to save millions of Zimbabweans from starvation after it emerged that the country’s maize production for the 2021/2022 farming season declined by at least 43% because of poor rains.

Rainfall distribution was poor in both space and time. This late onset of the rains caused late plantings, which were later affected by the prolonged dry spell. Some farmers were also forced to make several re-plantings as a result of poor crop establishment and the false start to the season,” she said.

Late rains were received in April 2022, and the impact of these late rains has not yet been captured. Maize production is estimated at 1 557 914 metric tonnes, which is 43% lower than the 2 717 171 metric tonnes which were produced in the 2020/2021 season.

Tobacco production is estimated to decrease by 8% to 183 725 metric tonnes from 200 245 metric tonnes realised last season.

However, improvements are expected in other areas.

Cotton production is estimated at 116 521 metric tonnes in the season, which is a 41% increase from the 195 991 metric tonnes in the previous season.

Soyabean production is expected to increase by 15% to 82 028 metric tonnes from 71 290 metric tonnes last year, while rice production is estimated to increase by 15% from 468 metric tonnes in the 2020/21 season to 539 metric tonnes in the 2021/22 season.

The assessment further indicates an improvement in the livestock sector.

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