Zimbabwe is likely to suffer a nearly 50% decline in corn output this year because of poor rainfall and a prolonged dry spell, the government said, although it ruled out a shortage of the staple.
HARARE – Zimbabwe is likely to suffer a nearly 50% decline in corn output this year because of poor rainfall and a prolonged dry spell, the government said, although it ruled out a shortage of the staple.
Harvests of grains including corn, also called maize, are expected to decline by around 43% in 2022, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said in a post-cabinet statement Wednesday night.
Maize production this year is estimated at 1.55 million tonnes, compared to 2.7 million tonnes in 2021, she said.
A maize-flour mash known as “sadza” is a staple in Zimbabwe, eaten with meat or vegetables.
“Despite the decline in production owing to the vagaries of the weather, there is however enough maize in stock,” Mutsvangwa said.
She urged millers and stock-feed manufacturers to import cereal to cover shortfalls of other grains – a tall order in light of the expected shortages due to the war in Ukraine, a major bread basket.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), at least 49% of Zimbabwe’s population live in extreme poverty.
Around 5.3 million people are deemed “food insecure” as a result of the impact of climate change, entrenched economic problems and COVID-19.