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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Nation has enough grain for next 10 months: Govt

Story by Josephine Mugiyo

GOVERNMENT has assured the nation that the country has enough grain to last until after the next harvesting period.

This comes as the country is preparing for the 2023/24 summer cropping season.

As cabinet convened this Tuesday in Harare, among the topical issues discussed were the country’s grain reserves and preparations for the 2023/24 summer cropping season.

Briefing media, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere said the maize grain is enough to last over 10 months, while the wheat stocks are enough to last more than nine months.

“The nation is informed that the country is targeting to produce 2 800 000 metric tonnes (mt) of maize, 120 000 mt of soya beans, 150 000 mt of sunflower, 350 000 mt of sorghum, 92 658 mt of pearl millet, and 270 000 mt of cotton during the 2023/2024 summer season. Production will be under various funding programmes including Pfumvudza/Intwasa, Government-facilitated bank financing, private sector and self-financing. Seed is readily available for all these crops, with about 40.8% being early to ultra-early maturity varieties.

“Government and Seed Associations have released the crop and variety suitability information to assist all stakeholders in the selection of appropriate varieties for their agro-ecological zones. All this information on the suitable varieties per region is available from the nearest Agricultural Extension officers,” he said.

The nation was also advised on the various measures that have been put in place to deal with the cholera outbreak.

Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora, who attended the post cabinet briefing, said government is worked with religious sects in containing the cholera outbreak.

“In response to the cholera challenges, fourteen boreholes were drilled in Buhera; Chimanimani, 2; and Zaka, 8 through a borehole drilling project under the Ministry of Health and Child Care. Cabinet reports that health education on cholera prevention and control measures, including hygiene promotion, is ongoing in provinces. Health educators in affected communities have been trained to also facilitate surveillance and risk communication. Door-to-door cholera campaigns are being made in the affected provinces,” he said.

Cabinet further reiterated additional measures as follows:

a) That continued intensified Risk Communication and Community engagement including involvement of religious and local leadership, intensified school health education on cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases and utilizing existing media houses and digital platforms for content dissemination is being accelerated;

b) that there will be improved safe water access to communities through rehabilitation of boreholes, and drilling boreholes; and

c) that public health measures will be enforced in all communities reporting cholera cases including restriction of gatherings in all cholera affected areas, and supervision of all burials in all cholera affected areas.”

Harare has been facing water challenges and a committee has since been put in place to attend to the situation.

“Cabinet advises that a Technical Committee to improve the water supply situation in the City of Harare and resolve the challenges currently affecting the City had been put in place. Cabinet reports that in order to increase water production to 520ML/day, there is need to supply water treatment chemicals; the rehabilitation works at Morton Jaffrey Water works; the rehabilitation and maintenance of Prince Edward Water works; and 312 boreholes drilled so far to augment water supply has been put in place.

“Cabinet reports that in order to ensure improved potable water supply coverage to the city from 40% to 60% there is need to rehabilitate water production at Morton Jaffrey and Prince Edward Water Works. This will boost production capacity from current 300 mega litres per day to 520 mega litres per day within the next 100days.”

The cabinet was also briefed on the progress of the Harare-Masvingo Beitbridge highway, where 461.5 kilometres have been completed, with only 118 kilometres remaining.

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