After a long suffering from drought and economic downturn, the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has come to say that his country can now confidently feed itself.
The nonagenarian who was speaking about how his controversial policy to strip lands from white farmers changed the lives of the ordinary Zimbabweans, said Zimbabweans can now feed themselves without requesting for help.
Zimbabwe can now produce enough food to feed its people for the first time in many years, Mugabe told his parliament.
“The country has this year succeeded in regaining its food self-sufficiency status on the back of the good rainy season and the introduction of command agriculture,” Mugabe said, adding that the bumper harvest of maize helped Zimbabwe regain its food independence,
“Government is now working to consolidate agriculture through, among other things, investing more resources in water harvesting and irrigation development.”
Mugabe’s comment comes just a week after the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers warned that the acute shortage of foreign currency could cause severe shortages of essential staples.
Mugabe, however, debunked the notion, saying he was hopeful that the rejuvenated agricultural sector would lift the nation’s moribund economy which has been plagued by a dire shortage of hard currency and soaring unemployment.
Zimbabwe’s economy has been down for a while following several controversial issues including drought which affect poor food productivity; economic policy and political instability.
The rise of food prices in the country was allegedly caused by Mugabe’s enforcement of land bill which saw the white farmers in the country being forced to give lands back to the indigenous people.
Unlike Mugabe’s latest announcement, World Food Programme considered Zimbabwe a food-deficit country, ranked 156 out of 187 on the Global Hunger Index, adding that nearly 4 million Zimbabweans are struggling to meet their basic food needs.
Researchers also revealed that although Zimbabwe has some 4.3 million hectares of arable land, only 2.8 million hectares of land were cultivated during cropping season due to high fuel costs, and climatic shocks to name a few.
While government policies can be blamed for the poor food production in the country, report has it that in Zimbabwe, where drought is the most common climatic threat to agricultural production, only 7.6 percent of farmers practice conservation agriculture.
Mugabe had at a time, acknowledged that handing vast tracts of land to inexperienced black owners was a mistake as they played a role in slowing down the country’s productivity.
President Rober Mugabe gives credit to his land reform program for its role in rejuvenating Zimbabwe’s food productivity. He says his people can now feed…