The GOVERNMENT has declared that the country is not facing imminent hunger and is expecting a grain surplus of over 100 000 tonnes.
Agriculture ministry secretary John Bhasera last week said the government was prepared to ensure that the nation is food secure. “We are food secure, and our grains are sufficient. The country is food secure on the account of our last bumper harvest season. We have some reserves of about 500 000 metric tonnes,” he said.
“This year, we are projecting about 1,8 million metric tonnes of grain, so if you add the two, we have 2,3 million metric tonnes. Our total annual requirement is 2,2 million metric tonnes, leaving a surplus of 107 000 specific metric tonnes of grain.
The government has given grain millers greenlight to import 400 000 tonnes of maize to offset an anticipated supply deficit following a poor rainfall season characterized by an erratic rainfall pattern across the country.
Farmers, who have also warned of a significantly reduced harvest, have also been hoarding their small harvests over poor prices being offered by the Grain Marketing Board.