Maize Production Up But Insufficient – UN

In a report made available to Radio VOP, the UN said the area planted for the 2010/2011 season was 2 096 035 hectares with an average yield of 0,69 metric tonnes per hectare.

“The increase in maize production is mainly attributed to more hectares put under the crop and better yields in the high potential producing areas,” the report said.

It said after assessment conducted in April, this year, estimates for the national cereal production for the 2010/2011 season stood at 1 607 700 metric tonnes against an estimated national requirement of 1 717 800 metric tonnes.

“Maize production increased by nine percent in 2010/2011 compared to the previous season,” the report said.

It said, however, food security remained a pressing issue for Zimbabwe’s Government of National Unity (GNU) with achievements at risk from a protracted “dry spell which affected six out of the 10 provinces early this year”.

“However, as indicated during the elaboration of the original 2011 Consolidated Appeal, the bulk of the increase in the request for funding is due to a mismatch in the CAP cycle and the agriculture season, with the result that funds pledged for the 2011/12 season will be counted in the CAP 2011, while funds for the 2010/11 season were counted in the CAP 2010,” the report said.

It said during the 2010/11 agricultural season, several input assistance schemes were successfully implemented.
They included the Government Crop Input Scheme supporting 440 000 households, donor-funded input schemes implemented by humanitarian organisations supporting 550 000 households, and President Robert Mugabe’s Well-wishers Agricultural Inputs Scheme supporting 560 000 households.

“Approximately, 1 550 000 households benefited from these input schemes,” the report said.

The reported noted the increasing attention that humanitarian players were giving to agriculture “is demanding an even stronger and more effective coordination structure”.

“Continuous monitoring of the agricultural sector, with technical assessments are key components of the co-ordination,” the report stated.