Wednesday, November 13, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zambia maize imports continuing: Made
17/10/2013 00:00:00
by NewZiana

THE government has so far received 4,000 tonnes out of the 150,000 tonnes the country is buying from Zambia to address food shortages in this country, Agriculture Joseph Made has said.

Responding to questions in Parliament Wednesday Made said the government was still putting in place the modalities to acquire the remainder of the maize.

Zimbabwe experienced drought in the last agricultural season resulting in poor output and a large number of people, estimated at over two million, requiring food assistance.

"The government is committed to importing 150,000 metric tons (of Maize) from Zambia," Made said in response to a question by MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese on the amount of maize the government intended to import to address current food shortages.

Made said the private sector was also importing maize from South Africa to cover the deficit although he could not provide figures on imports to date.
He said it was critical that farmers be empowered to address food shortages in the future.

"We must improve our capacity by making sure that farmers receive adequate inputs. We must also review the cost of inputs which is prohibitive," he added.

Made said the government would also prioritise mechanisation which was necessary to address challenges which most farmers were facing.

The government had moved in to help farmers ahead of the new season because liquidity challenges the country currently faces, he added.

Farmers have already started preparations for the 2013/14 agricultural season.

While meteorologists have predicted that the country was likely to receive normal rainfall, concerns have already been expressed on the high cost of inputs such as seed and fertiliser.

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