President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe Government this week announced that it had lifted the maize import ban in the pursuit of allowing those with free funds to import and also ensure a consistent supply of grain for the milling industry and stock-feed manufacturers.

“The milling industry and stock feed manufacturers are allocated 45 000 tonnes and 30 000 tonnes of maize monthly, respectively,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, in a post-cabinet briefing for 2022 Tuesday, this week.

“The milling industry and stock feed manufacturers are encouraged to enter into contract farming for uninterrupted supply of their grain requirements. In light of increased demand for maize, Cabinet resolved to lift the maize import ban to facilitate imports by private players with free funds,” she said.

The Government also said that a total of 1,5 million hactares had been put under maize, 45 000ha under soyabeans, 243 254ha under sorghum while 147 607ha under pearl millet. At least 14 482ha and 166 902ha had been put under sunflower and cotton respectively.

Harare says that a total of 110 102 hectares of tobacco have been planted, 18 510 hectares under irrigation and 91 592 under dryland.

Added Minister Mutsvangwa:

”Meanwhile,  Given the late start to the tobacco planting season, the tobacco marketing season will start on 30 March, 2022. Some 122 604 tobacco growers have registered for the 2021/2022 season, compared to 145 625 growers who registered during the same period last season.”

“Concerning cotton, Cabinet wishes to advise the public that the delayed payment of farmers and late onset of the rains affected the total area that was put to seed cotton. A total of 367 945 hectares was put under seed cotton compared to the 380 127 ha in the 2020/21 season. In a bid to increase shareholding in the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, Government has engaged consultants.”