Zimbabwe: Poor Grain Production Hurting The Economy

Updated Jan 26, 2021
Imports for these three raw grain commodities cost the country at least US$600 million in 2020 alone, thereby surpassing fuel imports (at US$499 million in the same period). This is before processed cereals and other agricultural commodities are factored into the import equation. Over the years, the country has been even importing millions worth of fresh commodities such as onions, potatoes, apples, pears, grapes and other vegetable products which should ordinarily be uncompetitive to transport into the country. Yield per hectare for maize (the staple crop) remains very low with average national yield less than 0.7 tons per hectare (Lower than the African average of 1.8 tons/ha). The yield is also lower than SADC peers who are largely affected by the same climatic conditions, with Namibia, Malawi and Mozambique at 1.2 tons/ha, Tanzania at 1.3 tons/ha, Zambia at 2.5 tons/ha and South Africa at 5.3 tons/ha. Consequently, Zimbabwe is now South Africa's largest maize market, ...
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