Food deficit: Made under fire for bungling

via Food deficit: Made under fire for bungling – The Zimbabwe Independent May 15, 2015

AGRICULTURE minister Joseph Made is under intense fire for poor planning and ineptitude as it emerged this week that due to a poor harvest Zambia is no longer in a position to sell Zimbabwe 700 000 tonnes of maize which would cost the cash-strapped government more than US$200 million.

elias mambo/Wongai Zhangazha

Government sources said President Robert Mugabe, who during Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium assured Zimbabweans no one would starve as a result of the drought, took a swipe at Made over the food security situation as he has been informing the nation that government would be able to provide maize to avert a food crisis.

The country has about 150 000 metric tonnes in reserves against a national requirement of 1,8 million tonnes.

“Mugabe told Made to find a solution to the crisis that the country is in following Zambia’s withdrawal of its offer to sell maize,” the source said. “Mugabe had no kind words for his minister who wants to buy maize every year without providing a lasting solution to the food security issue.”

Last week Made told the parliamentary thematic committee on peace and security government would not declare the drought that is experienced by many southern parts of the country as a national disaster, and instead would import grain to prevent a food crisis.

He was speaking on the food situation and measures against hunger and poor yields that his ministry would take.

Made said government would import 742 226 metric tonnes of maize from neighbouring countries after a 42% maize yield deficit this year compared to the 2013/14 agricultural season.

He said the first round crop assessment report indicated 1 531 000 hectares of maize was planted but 300 000 hectares were a write-off, and for millet 182 000 hectares were planted while 14 000 hectares were a write-off. For sorghum 200 000 were planted but 31 000 hectares were a write-off.

Asked in parliament why government has not declared the situation a national disaster, Made said the drought had mainly affected the southern part of the country and it was too early to declare an emergency.

“We are not at a stage yet to indicate whether this is a disaster or not,” he said adding government would issue permits to the private sector, non-governmental organisations and the World Food Programme to import grain.

A maize production report for Southern Africa released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) recently said nearly 300 000 hectares under maize in the country were a write-off because of the dry spell and the estimated 35 % decline in maize output was the worst in the region.


  • comment-avatar
    Zvakwana 7 years ago

    This is the same idiot who flew over Zim many years ago and declared a bumper harvest because he couldn’t tell the difference between maize and thatching grass.

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    loyal ministers are allowed to bungle in Zimbabwe..

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    Well . . . I wonder what things would be like if we still had real farmers?

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    grabmore 7 years ago

    what a complete and utter shambles.

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    malcolm 7 years ago

    Zimbabwe is blessed with fertile soil, this coupled with good rains and — maybe in many cases– free inputs, seed, fertilizer, diesel– and– year after year the same result. FAILURE.

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    Doris 7 years ago

    And year after year they keep Made in control of agriculture? What a joke. No, correction, what a tragedy.

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    Ndonga 7 years ago

    My goodness, the Minister of Agriculture…oops sorry…the Minister of Agricultural Engineering, Mechanisation and Irrigation…Joseph Made, under attack for poor planning and ineptitude! What a very late joke. He has been a disastrous planner and a complete fool since he was first appointed by Mugabe as Minister of Agriculture in 2000. And that ace planner and expert leader Mugabe has allowed him to keep that same position ever since! Talk about the blind leading the blind, or more likely a complete fool, being led by another complete fool.
    Made was notorious for the chaos that he brought about at the Grain Marketing Board. He forced farmers to sell their hard won maize crops to the GMB, and then made them wait years, if ever, for payment. What about his crazy scheme of having GMB maize packaged in bags with Mugabe’s face on them…It would have been more beneficial to have had toilet paper made with that face on it.
    Then what about all the money that he stole when he was boss of ARDA…not to speak of the fertilizer, seeds and farming implements that he also stole while there. And then the reports that he was paid by ARDA for up to ten years after he left their “service”.
    And so we are now in 2015 with 15 years of his crazy agricultural plans forcing many of us into starvation. Why doesn’t Made just borrow one of Mugabe’s helicopters and make another trip over our farms lands and tell us to relax as there is a bumper maize crop hidden among the weeds.
    Without a doubt Mugabe has attracted the worst of Zimbabweans to his various cabinets, but the most disastrous of all has been the Minister of Agricultural Engineering, Mechanisation and Irrigation Joseph Mtakwese Made.
    But take heart, both their times are coming. “They must not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”. (Galatians 6:7). One would expect a Minister of Agricultural Engineering, Mechanisation and Irrigation to know that. But with Made’s poor farm skills, perhaps not.

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    Charlie Cochrane 7 years ago

    Steal land….will starve.