Drought and teething economic challenges have reduced once Africa’s food basket Zimbabwe into a net food importer over the last decade, but the government now wants to reverse this.
The country has seen maize, wheat and cotton output drop in recent years. The maize and fertilizer manufacturing companies have been hit by such problems as a increased power outages and capitalization constraints.
According to a Bloomberg report, The Southern Africa country has suffered an estimated $12 billion in lost agriculture production since the land occupations that evicted white farmers from the country took place.
The worse affected by the food shortage are the people living in rural areas where agriculture is the main form of employment.
“The often so called rural poor have all the resources they require to better their lives right where they are, but what is the missing link? It’s knowledge, it’s awareness, it’s expertise and to some extend it’s the financial resources. Bringing those together we would have started the journey to eradicating rural poverty,” Ringson Chitsiko, Zimbabwe’s minister of agriculture, mechanization and irrigation development said.
Zimbabwe is currently seeking for $86 million in food aid from international humanitarian organizations to feed about 1.5 million people living in the rural areas in the lean season early next year.
The government has also muted a plan to return some of the land it seized from white farmers nearly 15 years ago to help boost local productivity and return the country to its former glory.