Zim maize production down 54%

Zimbabwe is expecting record a significant reduction in agricultural production following the 2018/19 season that was characterised by the late onset of rains across the country.

According to a second crop and livestock assessment report released by the Ministry of Agriculture, the estimated maize production stands at 776 635 tonnes, which is 54% less than the 1 700 702 tonnesobtained during the 2017/18 season.

In addition to false season starts in some parts of the country, long dry spells in January and February also negatively affected the planted crop.

“Cereal production is 851 844 tonnes against a national cereal requirement of 1 754 225 tonnes for human consumption,” reads the report.

The poor harvest will leave most families without adequate food supplies. The country requires at least 1,8m tonnes of maize per season.

Out of the 60 administrative rural districts in the country, 11 (18% have enough cereal to last until the next harvest and the rest (49 districts will last between 2 and 11 months.

Meanwhile the country is also expecting a 26% drop in tobacco output to 185 725 tonnes, while cotton is expected to drop by 49% to 66,564 tonnes.