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Zimbabwe’s food situation is on the brink of an outbreak of mass starvation after the maize harvest generated from last year’s crop fell by at least 50%. This is partly attributed to poor rainfall pattern and mainly to the collapse of Zimbabwe’s once enviable agricultural sector which fed the African continent but now has collapsed after the disastrous Zanu PF war veteran led, white commercial farm invasion of the early 2000 years.
Zimbabwe fell swiftly from a self sufficient nation in food supply down to a ‘bread basket case’ in need of food aid as the inactive farming sector failed to meet demands.
The crisis in Zimbabwe is now critical as evidenced by the broke Mugabe’s Zanu PF regime’s appeal to development partners for US$300 million to mitigate starvation across the nation due to the fall in maize output or harvest by at least 50 % from the last cropping season.
Zmbabwe’s Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the Zimbabwe Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report, where he stated that at least US$300 million is needed for food import to make up for the shortfall and cushion Zimbabwe until the next harvest, assuming that the next season will be result in a plentiful harvest.
Zimbabwe needs 1,4 million tonnes of maize a year for consumption, but the 2014-15 season output was just 49 percent of this, demonstrating how critical the pending starvation will turn out to be if bold steps to mitigate the starvation are not taken immediately.
President Robert Mugabe recently announced that no one will starve in the country, a typically empty promise coming from the head of a broke Zanu PF regime, who amongst themselves hold more US$ billions than the government itself, all built up from corruption, and looting of national wealth and resources, through monopolising wealth and power. It is not rocket science that Mugabe’s Zanu PF regime will not easily find the money to cover grain imports.
Zimbabwe’s poor harvest dictates that at least 50% of the required food must be imported from neighbours, a typically controversial issue since South Africa and Zambia, did not have massive outputs due to the poor rainfall and thus will seek to feed their own people before disposing of any excess stocks.
Zimbabwe’s government poor or low government support to farmers , low harvests due to climate change, coupled with the reluctance of Zimbabwe’s banking sector to offer cheap loans to farmers for their agricultural activity are all a smoke screen that the government can hide behind and avoid taking direct blame for their contribution to the whole fiasco right from the haphazard, murderous eviction of white commercial farmers, with no clear plan to move the nation forward progressively. Sibusiso Ngwenya.