Helen Kadirire 10 April 2017
HARARE – A bumper harvest does not translate into food security for the
country if storage facilities are not adequate, World Food Programme
country director Eddie Rowe said.
In an interview with the Daily News, Rowe said the country’s storage
facilities are either in poor shape or non-existent, and thus may affect
the country’s maize storage
His remarks come as government is predicting a bumper harvest from the
above normal rains that were experienced in the 2016/207 agricultural
Zimbabwe requires approximately 1,8 million metric tonnes of maize,
including small grains such as millet and sorghum, however, since the 2000
land reform, the country has failed to produce a third of the national
“One of the root causes of food insecurity is that up to 30 percent of the
harvest is lost due to poor storage and handling. We can have a bumper
harvest but if half of that is lost through poor storage, then communities
will have limited availability of commodities for the next harvest,” Rowe
He added that another reason is that for most of the smallholder farmers
the incentive for them to increase production is not there because there
is no market access.
“In the region WFP buys between 200 000 to 300 000 metric tonnes of
cereals. That is a market that we can harness here and ensure that when
these smallholder farmers produce, they have markets to sell to which in
turn we will enable them to diversify their livelihoods,” he said.
However, senior principal director in the Office of the President and
Cabinet Ozias Hove said refurbishments of the storage facilities are
“At the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) centres apart from the silos there are
going to be other arrangements put in place to ensure that delivered grain
is secured. All grain produced will be safely kept in those GMB centres,”
At least 1,2 million hectares of maize was planted this year compared to
773 000 of 2016 while sorghum increased from 86 000 hectares to 188 430
Communal farmers planted 724 735 hectares of maize, peri-urban farmers 12
734, small-scale commercial farmers 46 234, A2–152 227, old resettlement
114 991 and A1 farmers planted 192 703 hectares.