Zimbabwe: 'Most Areas Have Cereals to Last 12 Months'

MOST districts in Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central and the Midlands have sufficient cereal to last more than a year, the Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Ministry has reported but households in southern districts are harvesting around a nine-month supply.

According to the Second Round Crop and Livestock Assessment report, the most affected districts in the south eastern parts of the country include Buhera, Chimanimani, Bikita, parts of Chipinge South, Zaka and Mutare West. "In the southern parts of the country, the most affected districts are Beitbridge, Matobo, Umzingwane, Bulilima and Mangwe", read the report.

The report indicates that Mashonaland West, Chegutu, Hurungwe, Kariba, Makonde, Mhondoro-Ngezi and Zvimba, have enough cereal to last more than year while Sanyati has supplies for between 10 to 12 months.

In Mashonaland Central, Bindura, Centenary, Guruve, Mazowe and Shamva, there are cereals enough to last more than 12 months while Mt Darwin and Mbire will have supplies for between 10 to 12 months.

People in Rushinga will have supplies for between four to six months.

In Mashonaland East, Goromonzi and Seke will have a supply of cereals for more than 12 months while Murewa will have 10 to12 months' supply. In the Midlands, Chirumanzu, Gokwe North and Gokwe South have cereals for more than year.

Reads the report in part: "The 2021/2022 season started late in the second and third dekad (a 10-day rainfall period) of December 2021 in most parts of the country. Where it started early in the last week of October to mid-November 2021, it was a false start.

"Rainfall distribution was poor in both space and time across the country. There were incessant rains in January followed by a prolonged dry spell in the first week of February to the end of March.

"The false start of the season resulted in failed crop establishment forcing most farmers to replant several times. The late onset caused late plantings which were later affected by the prolonged dry spell at the reproductive stage causing write offs especially in the central and southern parts of the country."

During April unusually heavy late rains were received which should benefit the late planted crop, although the impact of the rains is yet to be evaluated.

Heavy rains in December and January caused excessive leaching of nitrogen and other crop nutrients, but Zimbabwe is expecting an estimated maize production for 2021/2022 of 1 557 914 tonnes.

This is a 43 percent decrease from the 2 717 171 tonnes produced in the previous season. Traditional grains production for the 2021/2022 season is estimated at 194 100 tonnes, representing a 44 percent decrease from 347 968 tonnes in 2020/2021.

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