Drought situation is under control: Professor Mthuli Ncube

By ZBC Reporter
THE MINISTER of Finance and Economic Development has assured the international community that the drought situation in the country is under control as the government is putting in place measures to avert its effects by importing grain.
The minister was speaking on Bloomberg TV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Minister Ncube said the government is importing food from the Atlantic, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania while also receiving support from the international community to ensure that every household has sufficient food. The country is currently facing food shortages due to the drought experienced last cropping season and the effects of Cyclone Idai which ravaged parts of the country in March last year.
The minister explained that the government is shifting its budget towards financing agriculture and implementing climate mitigating measures such as investing in agriculture, irrigation and growing drought resistant crops.
“Contracts have been signed, are being signed, we are shipping maize from the Atlantic, we are ready and we are working at importing food.
“Zimbabwe is well drilled when it comes to dealing with droughts such as this, we have had several droughts since independence so we have a team that is very focused, they understand logistics, ships are delivering in Beira and then we move it up by rail and trucks up to Zimbabwe,” said Professor Ncube.
The Finance minister highlighted that the government subsidy on mealie meal will allow the vulnerable to access the maize in terms of pricing and accessibility.
Professor Ncube alluded to the fact that the government will introduce higher denominations of the local currency during the course of 2020 to make it easier for the transacting public though he highlighted that they have to be cautious not to fuel inflation and are also encouraging the use of electronic transactions.
He noted that the international community must realise that the government is walking the talk since it has managed to reign in inflation which fell from over 17 percent to 16.6 percent in December 2019.
“Inflation is coming down slowly but of course year on year inflation it remains high but that is expected, that is what happens when you liberalise a currency and it’s trying to find its equilibrium, it is trying to find its footing, we believe its stabilizing, it has been quite stable actually,” said Professor Ncube.
The World Economic Forum is running form the 21-24 January 2020 in Davos, Graubunden, Switzerland. The Forum brings together world leaders to discuss global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of each year.