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Zimbabwe Now Southern African Breadbasket - Bhasera

9 months agoFri, 12 May 2023 13:06:32 GMT
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Zimbabwe Now Southern African Breadbasket - Bhasera

John Bhasera, the Agriculture Permanent Secretary, has stated that Zimbabwe has become the breadbasket of the Southern African region due to government measures.

Bhasera made the remarks during a field day in Kwekwe and emphasised the need to consolidate and sustain this status. He also praised the land reform program in the 2000s, which he said, despite its violent nature, set a good precedent in Africa. NewZimbabwe quotes him as saying:

Our issue is on how we can retain the bread basket status. We are already there being the bread basket of southern Africa, how do we sustain and consolidate on that status. We are only one of the two African countries which are flour and wheat self-sufficient. These developments are happening after the advent of the Second Republic.

375 000 tonnes of wheat achieved in 2022, this is against an annual requirement of 360 000 tonnes metric tonnes of wheat. It means for the first time in many years, for the first time since wheat was produced in Zimbabwe around the 1960s we are flour and wheat self-sufficient.

According to John Bhasera, Zimbabwe has achieved President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s target of becoming a US$8 billion agricultural economy by 2025 within one agricultural season.

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Bhasera stated that the country reached US$8.1 billion in the 2021/2022 period, which was intended to be achieved in five years since 2020.

He said Zimbabwe produced 2.7 million metric tonnes of maize, the second-highest output after the 1980s, and cotton export earnings increased from US$10-15 million to US$80-90 million.

He said the livestock sector is also growing at a rate of 1-3% per year, with the national herd reaching 5.6 million from 5.2 million in 2019/2020. The target for this year is 6 million, which Bhasera said will be achieved.

Zimbabwe used to be known as the breadbasket of Africa in the 1980s, but the agricultural sector has faced numerous challenges in recent years, resulting in food shortages and declining exports. However, recent government measures have led to a resurgence in the sector, and there are hopes of regaining the previous status.

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