Zimbabwe to meet minimum grain reserves for first time in three years





Zimbabwe is for the first time in three years, expected to meet its strategic grain reserves mandate of keeping at least 500 000 tonnes of physical grain stock.

The country’s grain management body, the Grain Marketing Board has a mandate to meet the strategic grain reserve quantity, of which 90 percent is accounted for by maize. In the past three years, however, the country faced challenges of low grain output due to dry spells.

According to the Grain and Feed Annual Report produced by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement and the United States Department of Agriculture Zimbabwe’s maize crop for the 2021/22 marketing year is estimated at 2,7 million tonnes, an increase of almost 200 percent from the 907 628 tonnes produced in the 2020/21 Marketing year.

“The 2021/22 Marketing Year corn crop will be Zimbabwe’s largest corn crop since the 1984/85 Marketing Year. A combination of expansion in area and favorable weather conditions contributed to the largest corn crop in more than three decades.  As a result, the Zimbabwean government terminated the issuing of import permits for corn and corn meal to local grain millers as supply exceeds local demand. Zimbabwe will also, for the first time in three years, manage to maintain the minimum strategic grain reserve of 500 000 tonnes in physical stocks,” reads the report.

The report estimates that the country’s maize requirement for the 2021/22 marketing year would be around 1,6 million tonnes for human consumption and an additional 400 000 tonnes of grain needed for livestock feed, leaving a surplus stock.

Posting on his Twitter account, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube noted that the 2021/22 marketing year estimate is the largest in decades.

“Zimbabwe ’s maize output for the 2021/22 marketing year estimated at 2.7 million tonnes will be the largest corn crop since the 1984/85 marketing year,” said the minister.

Two months ago, the Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Settlements released its second Crop and Livestock assessment report which revealed that the country expected a bumper harvest.