Categories: Zim Latest

HUNGER WARNING SIGN: Seed sales volume 28% down

Seed sales from Zimbabwe’s biggest seed producer, Seed Co fell by 28 percent in the 3 months to December 2023 as farmers bought less due to drought.

Apparently, this points to a weaker national harvest for this season.

The company says it sold 18,520 tons of seed for the period under review, a significant drop from 25,814 tons in 2022.

Seed Co notes that because of delayed rains, there’s increased demand for small grains and legumes.

This year’s rainy season in Zimbabwe, running from November to March, has seen barely any precipitation so far with this year’s El Nino effect, according to the country’s Meteorological Services.

Zimbabwe’s staple maize harvest is expected to halve to 1.1 million tons in 2024 due to an El Nino-induced drought, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said recently flagging a huge grain deficit that threatens food security in poor households.

The southern African country requires about 1.8 million tons of maize annually for human consumption and projected a 2.3 million ton maize harvest in 2023.

El Nino, a natural climate phenomenon in which surface waters of the central and eastern Pacific become unusually warm, causing changes in global weather patterns, is expected to hit crop yields during the 2023/24 farming season.

Farmers in Zimbabwe, where frequent droughts have compounded a lengthy economic crisis, have delayed planting the staple grain amid high temperatures and dry conditions linked to El Nino.

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