Government of Zimbabwe will from next week begin importation of maize from Mexico in a bid to address food challenges caused by the El Nino induced drought.
Speaking to journalists on the side-lines of the launch of the Full Zimbabwe Zero hunger Strategic Report in the capital, Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development Minister, Joseph Made said government has bought maize from Mexico in a bid to reduce starvation in the country.
“We have managed to acquire more than 250 metric tons of maize from Mexico as we move towards eradication of starvation among our people.
“We are expecting the first consignment to arrive late this week and more will arrive in the coming days,” said Made.
He however said Zambia and South Africa remain Zimbabwe’s biggest maize import destinations and assured the nation that no one would starve.
He added that his ministry is chuffed by the way farmers took advantage of late rains to grow their crops as this helped in realizing a good harvest in most parts of the country.
“We commend farmers who took advantage of delayed rains and planted their crops late. They benefitted as they managed to realize good harvests but this was not the case in the southern parts of the country which remained relatively dry during the summer cropping season.
“I’m impressed by the performance of farmers in the previous farming season as it did not go badly as previously feared,” made said.
He urged farmers to be aware of the ever changing climate and adapt by growing drought resistant crops saying this will enhance productivity and help in the fight against hunger.
Made said maize and small grains will attract the same price at GMB before allaying fears of non-payment saying treasury has already availed funds for payment to farmers.
He revealed that to date, 55 000 metric tons of maize have been delivered to the GMB and all farmers have been paid.
Zimbabwe faces a huge shortage of food due to the El Nino which affected almost all the five regions and President Mugabe has since declared a state of emergence and national disaster.
The country faces a huge task ahead in trying to meet the Sustainable Development Goal number under the UN SDGs of ending hunger and making sure there is food sustainability by the year 2016.