The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Sunday News Reporter
The country is expecting a bumper harvest this harvesting season in excess of 2.7 million metric tonnes of maize which is almost double what the country harvested in 2020, according to the 2021 second round of the Crop and Livestock Assessment Report.
In a post Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the total cereal production projection is 3 075 538 metric tonnes, against a national cereal requirement of 1 797 435 metric tonnes for human consumption and 450 000 metric tonnes for livestock.
Minister Mustavangwa said maize production had increased by 199 percent from last season.
“Government is pleased to report that Zimbabwe is set for a bumper harvest, following the above-normal rains received across the country during the 2020/2021 summer season.
Maize production is estimated at 2 717 171 metric tonnes, which is 199 percent higher than the 907 628 metric tonnes produced in the 2019/2020 season.
“Traditional grains production is projected at 347 968 metric tonnes, which is 128 percent more than the 152 515 metric tonnes output of the previous season,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said cotton production had increased by 94 percent while tobacco and soya beans had increased by eight percent and 51 percent respectively.
“Cotton production is estimated at 195 991 metric tonnes in the 2020/2021 season, which is a 94 percent increase from the 101 000 metric tonnes in the 2019/2020 season. Tobacco production is estimated to increase by eight percent to 200 245 metric tonnes from 184 042 metric tonnes in the 2019/2020 season.
“Soyabean production is expected to increase by 51 percent to 71 290 metric tonnes from 47 088 metric tonnes last year. Sweet potato production is estimated to increase by 269 percent, sugar beans by 142 percent and groundnuts by 139 percent,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the assessment indicated that while the livestock situation still requires attention, there has been a marked improvement in the state of affairs.
“The national beef cattle herd increased from 5 443 770 cattle in the previous season to 5 478 648 this season, and the average national cattle mortality rate decreased from 12 percent in 2019 to 4.2 percent in 2020, due to improved disease control efforts, such as from the Presidential Tick Grease Scheme, and improved nutrition due to the good rainy season. Farmers are urged to go and collect their tick grease allocations from their local GMB Depots.
Egg production is increasing, reaching a new high of 59.3 million dozens in 2020, surpassing the 2019 production by 18 percent, which was 50.4 million dozens, and 7 percent higher than previous record of 55.3 million in 2016,” she said.