Zimbabwe expects 58% jump in 2023 maize harvest

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By Reuters

HARARE – Zimbabwe expects to harvest 2.3 million tonnes of the staple maize grain this year, a 58% jump from the previous season driven by favourable rains, according to a cabinet statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The southern African country of around 16 million people has struggled to feed itself since former President Robert Mugabe led the seizure of farms owned by white people at the start of the millennium to resettle landless Black people. Zimbabwe has also endured frequent droughts over the last few years, as a result of climate change.

Zimbabwe also expects to harvest 280,996 tonnes of drought-resistant grains such as sorghum and millet, a 45% increase on the previous season, as the country seeks to limit the impact of climate change on household food security.

“The total cereal production is 2,579,247 tonnes, against a national cereal requirement of 1,837,742 tonnes for human consumption and 450,000 tonnes for livestock, leaving a surplus,” the cabinet said.

The government has also revised its 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to 6%, from the previous 4%, on the back of a good summer cropping season, the cabinet added.