By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE is using US$4 million on maize imports per month, which is over a 100% increase in expenditure for the basic commodity.
This is contained in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) latest monthly report, “Monthly-Economic-Review-September-2019″.
In August 2019, the drought stricken southern African nation spent US$1.5 million on maize imports before the figure shot to US$ 4 million in September.
“The country’s import sources largely comprised of South Africa 40%; Singapore 23%; China 8%; India 4% and Mauritius 4%,” the report said.
The development comes at a time when the World Food Programme (WFP) has announced that Zimbabwe is facing its worst hunger crisis in a decade with more than half of the population being food insecure.
“A climate disaster and economic meltdown were to blame for the ongoing crisis, with normal rainfall recorded in just one of the last five growing seasons,” WFP spokesperson Bettina Luescher said last month.
The global food organisation said the increasingly unreliable rain season had affected subsistence farmers in particular as they relied on rain to grow maize.
“The crisis is being exacerbated by a dire shortage of currency, runaway inflation, mounting unemployment, lack of fuel, prolonged power outages and large-scale livestock losses, and they inflict the urban population just as well as rural villagers,” Luescher said.