Bridget Mananavire 4 March 2017
HARARE – Zimbabwe is moving to ban the import of farm produce as it looks
at investing close to $150 million in the agriculture sector, Agriculture
minister Joseph Made said.
Giving an update on the state of food security to a Senate thematic
committee on Peace and Security yesterday, Made said the ban would be a
way of protecting the export market from poor quality food.
“Our position is very clear. The market that we are looking at is
generally Europe and so on, and that market we want to address it as a
niche market in terms of high quality food and we cannot talk of high
quality food when our importation might relate to some foods that you know
the market will say no to, I thought I should just hint at that,” Made
told the Senate committee chaired by Mashonaland Central senator Damian
To date, Treasury has made a provision of $62 million for the purchase of
grain while the Agricultural Marketing Authority (Ama) has been targeted
to raise $80 million under command agriculture.
The country is recovering from two consecutive years of drought which saw
over five million people being food insecure in the former bread basket of
Currently, the country has 250 000 metric tonnes in its strategic grain
reserves, expected to last six months.
Made said the grain in the government coffers will also be distributed to
people who have been affected by floods.
Under the special maize production programme, Made said government had
distributed 5 665 metric tonnes of grain, nine million litres of fuel and
46 023 metric tonnes of compound D fertiliser as well as 22 993 metric
tonnes of top dressing.
Made, however, said the country would continue to import fertiliser until
industry can meet the demand.