Government increases strategic grain reserves to 1.5 million

By Tendai Munengwa

Government has increased Strategic Grain Reserves from 500 000 metric tonnes to 1.5 million, underpinned by this year’s bumper harvest and planning ahead for the next summer cropping season.

Outlining the state of preparedness for the 2021/22 summer cropping season, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Dr Anxious Masuka reviewed upwards maize targets for this coming summer season by 32 percent and set up a new strategic grain reserve mark.

“The plans for this season targets for 2021/22 summers season are that we have set a new target of three million six hundred tonnes of maize against a national demand of 2.2 million metric tonnes. In light of the threats of consecutive droughts, the physical strategic grain reserve will be increased from 500 thousand metric tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes, comprising 1.2 million tonnes of maize and 300 thousand metric tonnes of traditional grains,” he said.

The Pfumvudza/Intwasa hectarage has also been reviewed upwards with farmers required to take plant five plots up from the previous three while the Presidential Cotton Scheme will from this season adopt the Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept.

“The climate-proofed Presidential Inputs scheme will target 2.3 million up from 1.8 million households in 2020. Five plots will be supported up from three, that is maize, sorghum, pearl millet, soya bean and groundnuts. 250 thousand hectares under the Pfumvudza concept aimed at producing 250 thousand to 300 thousand metric tonnes from 520 thousand beneficiaries up from 400 thousand farmers in 2020.”

Other various programmes which will be supported under the presidential inputs scheme include the Presidential poultry, dairy, piggery, Presidential rural goat schemes, fisheries, irrigation and mechanisation targeting over 1.8 million households as part of the Second Republic’s drive to achieve sustainable food and nutritional security.