Maize imports start arriving

Joseph Made

Joseph Made

By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
09 January 2014

Maize imports from South Africa have begun arriving in the country with Zimbabwe receiving 700 tonnes of grain so far, reports said this week.

A Wednesday Herald report quoted Agriculture minister, Joseph Made, saying Zimbabwe had received close to 700 tonnes and more should be expected because the holidays are now over in South Africa.

Made said the maize will be distributed across the country for sale while 10 percent of every delivery will be reserved for the vulnerable groups such as the elderly and orphans.

Made’s deputy, David Marapira, revealed last week that Zimbabwe is importing 150, 000 tonnes of maize to guarantee food supplies before the April harvest.

According to a survey by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee at least 2.2 million people in the rural areas will need food aid before the harvest period.

Reports state that Zimbabwe needs over two million tonnes of maize every year but only produced 800, 000 tonnes last year.

Zimbabwe’s food problems are generally blamed on Robert Mugabe’s controversial seizure of commercial farms, which saw the widespread destruction of the agricultural sector. But the government routinely blames drought and Western targeted sanctions for the food shortages.

The imports also come at a time when the ZANU PF government is routinely accused of politicizing food aid, with opposition supporters being denied any allocations.

7 Responsesto “Maize imports start arriving”

  1. Memory Muchavaira says:

    I am so confused. Two reports (one released recently) by a Professor Scoones at a university somewhere in Sussex UK suggests our land reform programme has significantly improved our agriculture. Also I have just seen a book supporting, justifying and praising our land reform programme by yet another learned academic (a Dr Hanlon) and he too is from Perfidious Albion. His book is called, Zimbabwe Takes Back Its Land. I am just a simple Zimbabwean lady who is trying to feed her family with extreme difficulty because our farmers cannot grow enough maize. My mother and grandmother tell me that at Independence 1980 (before land reform) we were the breadbasket of southern Africa and responsible for food security in the region. I am so confused.

    • Ndinodyagochajongwe says:

      Zanu staged a fantastically successful conjob on Professor Scoones. His head is way up in the clouds lost in euphoric academic miasma. This year 2.2 million people face starvation but Judas Escariot Professor Scoones has been paid and gone back home and has no concern for 2.2 million starving Zimbabweans

    • Common Sense says:

      Let us help your confusion. Zimbabwe was the breadbasket, Hanlon’s report was a marginal, inaccurate report (a con job).

      No-one denies the land should have gone back to the majority population… but what happened was obscene theft of the land to give to cronies and ZPF apologists who grow nothing, and that is why we starve. THe majority did not benefit….

      The key driver was to shut the Warvets up, but primarily to take the voting population of the whit farms and make them dependent on ZPF for survival… good old Communist tactics done by a outdated dictatorship

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Well, my simple Zimbabwean lady, Zimbabwe has always been importing maize for the simple reason that our commercial farmers have only been keen to grow cash crops like tobacco, cotton, soya beans, flowers for export etc, at the expense of growing maize. Commercial farmers are business people whose philosophy is to maximise profit and will not be inclined to grow a crop that militate against their interests. They are not philanthropists or saints who farm to please the Zimbabwean consumer. If the price the grown maize is right, all farmers will grow maize. This is fundamental.
      Having said the above, that does not rubbish the tremendous strides that have been made by our farmers since the takeover of the land by its rightful owners. We have witnessed the growth of the tobacco sector to levels that can not be matched to the Rhodesia era. This applies to other cash crops I have highlighted above. So to answer your question in short, there has been noticeable strides in improving agriculture in this country. The academics you have alluded above have seen for themselves what our farmers are capable of doing given a conducive agricultural policy.
      In any case, maize has always been imported even during the Rhodesia era also for the reasons I have argued above. I hope I have been useful to your query, my simple Zimbabwean lady.

    • SlaptheZanuMonkey says:

      Dear Memory – please do not listen to the idiot named Chimbwido Warvet. He is a Zanu PF stooge who is simply singing for his supper. He will never ever give an unbiased, level response.

      The simple truth is that Zanu PF hijacked the land reform programme for it’s own ends – that is to hand out land to it’s chefs and fat cats, for the purposes of continuing it’s policy of political patronage, and not to the poor people of Zimbabwe. No one in their right mind would deny that the land imbalances of the colonial era (pre 1980) needed to be resolved and the majority of productive land handed back to the people. The chaotic way in which it was conducted proves that Mugabe never had the interests of the common man in mind – held up by the fact that the white commercial farmers should have been allowed to retain some of their legally aquired land (sold to them with letters of “no interest” from the government) and pass on the their skills to the new farmers. A transition that would have allowed this country to continue to feed it’s own people. Instead the land was violently taken and then left fallow. The authors you mention above were only “allowed” to study the few productive farms that have actually come out of the land reform chaos, not to freely observe the farming practices of the chefs and cell phone farmers. The reports you refer to are completely inaccurate. Ask yourself why over 2 million Zimbabweans are at risk of starvation this year? If, as Chimbwido Warvet states, the new commercial farmers are growing cash crops instead of food, why is unemployment running at over 85%? Who is working the land that is growing this vast agricultural wealth?

      This buffoon Chimbwido Warvet is a noisy little coward who lives in the UK and has no grasp of the actual facts on the ground. Even if he did he would still sing the same, tired Zanu PF song. Please watch out and do not be drawn in by this fools “theories”. The truth is plain to see!!

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Oh no no no my gosh Aah, what a mother fu+++r who talks nonsense all the time. Well, I have advised my simple Zimbabwean lady what I know to be the truth. You obviously have your own flawed views about Chimbwido Warvet which he challenges most strongly. There is absolutely nowhere in his article any mention of ZANU PF and neither has he divulged his political allegiance to you. Besides, the Warvet is not a buffoon, a noisy little coward who lives in the UK or one who sings for anyone’s supper or dinner because he is a man of means who does not depend on anyone for survival. In addition, Chimbwido Warvet is learned and a lot educated than you. He is experienced and has seen it all, too. This is not flattery or adulation of himself but the truth.

        Judging Memory Muchavaira by her style of writing, one is left with the impression that she is an intelligent lady who can make her own assessment based on what you and the Warvet have said. If she will be persuaded to take your line of thought, it will be entirely up to her. So give this lady a break and let her use her faculties without your foolish influence.

  2. Memory Muchavaira says:

    Gentlemen please don’t squabble on account of my naivety. What I do know is that my grandmother told me that at Independence 1980 the supermarkets and shops were full of mealie meal, the bags stacked to the ceiling. She used to tell me stories of meeting Zambian visitors who stared in utter amazement at hundreds of shoppers from her local supermarket carrying bags of mealie meal to take to their rural homes during long weekend holiday breaks. Now we beg Zambia for our staple food. and or pay for imports from South Africa. Grandmother also told me proudly that our Zimbabwe dollar could buy a British pound – and now we don’t even have a currency. At that time although just a young girl I remember weekend parties all over Highfield where we lived. All I know is that at Independence we traded in prosperity for a black government – and the struggle continues..

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