Zimbabwe imports maize to stave off hunger

Zimbabwe is importing 150,000 tonnes of maize from neighbouring South Africa to guarantee food supplies before the April harvest, a senior official said Friday, with an estimated 2.2 million people at risk. 

Joseph Made
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made

“We are importing maize from South Africa to cover the gap between now and the next harvest,” deputy agriculture minister David Marapira told AFP.

At least 2.2 million people in rural areas will require food aid before the April harvest, according to a survey by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee which groups government and aid agencies.

“So far, we have received 300 tonnes by road through Bulawayo (city) and will be moved to other parts of the country. The total we are importing is 150,000 tonnes and we are hoping this will cover the period between now and April.”

Zimbabwe has been facing perennial food shortages prompting the government to import maize from neighbours to augment local production.

Poor food production has been blamed on land reforms which saw the seizure of white-owned commercial farmers under President Robert Mugabe’s land reforms for redistribution to landless blacks. The government says poor rains in recent years are to blame for the drop in food production.

Zimbabwe needs over two million tonnes of maize annually but last year the country produced only 800,000 tonnes, a drop from 1.4 million tonnes the previous year. Last year the government signed a deal to import maize but deliveries have been slow, Marapira said.

“We are still getting maize imports from Zambia but the movement of the maize has been very slow,” he said.

Zimbabwe has a population of almost 14 million people. SAPA/AFP

  • Sammy Moyo

    Steal land that was never yours and that you never earned and this will always be the result, ever seen a car thief look after the car they stole

  • Mart

    Are they importing from the Boers they chased away. I thought ZANU-PF does not eat Boers’ maize.

    • Chiredzisister

      Taura hako. They amuse me when they say they don’t want foreigners in Zim. Not sure if the Chinese come from Zvimba. They don’t like the West but they want Asians who are even doing more harm in our country. Shit swords.

  • 120176A

    Fascinating. The top officials of ZANU now have such a grip on Zimbabwe that they will import just enough food to keep the population from starving. The population will be so grateful they will continue to vote for them! The costs will easily be paid from the looting that has gone on over the last 20 years. Not least of which are the vast riches from the Marenge diamond fields. Meanwhile the population of Zimbabwe have no idea that their birthright has been stolen from under their noses. A tragedy as Zimbabwe could be a relatively successful well-run and prosperous nation much like Botswana.

    Essentially, the cost of running government in Zimbabwe is merely the ‘cost of doing business’. The main aim of controlling government in Zimbabwe is to provide a facade behind which the whole scale looting can continue. So total collapse would be very bad indeed.

    No wonder Mugabe and his cronies remain so defiant and arrogant: they know full well that they can manage any ‘crisis’ at any time just by trickling a little bit of the stolen fortunes back into the Zimbabwean economy. They can keep Zimbabwe in a state of constant uncertainty and generalised poverty (which creates dependency) while they hide the real agenda behind the scenes.

  • Ndinodyagochajongwe

    Dear FREE world,

    Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Southern Africa until ZANU PF destroyed agricultural production.



  • jay

    Foolish and failed policies bringing in the results now. Importing from the very boers you took the land from. This is pathetic

    • Chiredzisister

      Vachamama vamboti vadii zvavo?

  • Chiredzisister

    Hey you said you want the land so that you can farm. You are just a bag of shallow idiots. How can you do farming when you don’t have any donkey or cow to till the land? Yes these white farmers had a know how on these farming issues. In your mind you think you can produce enough for yourself and for selling by doing zero tillage. ZANU PF is a joke. We used to export maize and now after bhora mugedhi we are the ones importing. This is unbelievable. Baba Chatunga is a mere joke. That minister there is just too old to do anything. They are all old and useless.

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