The government of Zimbabwe is expecting the 2021 maize yield to surpass 2.8 million tonnes for the first time since 1984, Newswire reports.
The matter came to light in parliament after it emerged the government was planning on purchasing 1.8 million tonnes of maize and 200,000 tonnes of small grains and the gains will cost the government Z$65.2 billion, against a budget of $8 that was set aside by the Treasury for the same purpose.
The cabinet said in a statement:
Cabinet was informed that although the Ministry is awaiting the results of the First Round of the Crops and Livestock Assessment later in March, 2021, for planning purposes an estimated national production of 2,5 to 2,8 million metric tonnes of maize an 360 000 metric tonnes of traditional grains has been based on the promising bumper harvest in 2021.
On the basis of the afore-stated estimates, deliveries to the GMB are expected to be 2 million metric tonnes of cereals (that is, 1.8 million metric tonnes of maize and 200 000 metric tonnes of traditional grains).
The grain producer price that was set by the government in December for maize is $32 000 and $38 000 for small grains. In 1984 over 2.9 million tonnes were harvested in Zimbabwe followed by 2017 when 2.1 million tonnes were harvested.
The government has not yet explained how it plans to fund purchasing grains from farmers given the huge deficit they are facing.