The government has released a report which notes that 106 520 hectares of maize were written off in the 2019-2020 farming season.
This decline in maize hectarage, from 1 623 757 hectares in the 2018-2019 season to 1 549 324 hectares in the current season, can be attributed to a number of factors including a dry spell that saw farmers delaying the farming season.
It can also be attributed to the recently announced producer price of $12 865 per tonne for traditional grains, a price that is slightly higher than the $12 329 offered for maize.
This resonates with the report which also notes that there was an increase (on small grains hectarage, in the same period under review.
Previously, maize and small grains had the same price but the increased price for small grains is reportedly a strategy by the government to encourage farmers to grow traditional crops which are considered drought resistant.
Farmers have been complaining over the producer price offered for maize and the new prices probably pushed them to cross over to traditional crops.
This comes when Zimbabwe has an acute shortage of mealie-meal and is already importing the commodity from neighbouring countries.
More: The Herald