The country imported 410,667 tonnes of maize worth US$128 million in the first quarter to cover a deficit due to El Nino phenomenon.

According to latest data from government, maize imports in January stood at 136,084 tonnes valued at US$41.95 million.

Maize imports in February was 145,354 tonnes valued at US$43.7 million whilst in March were 129,229 tonnes costing US$42.4 million.

Average of 5.98% of import bill spent on maize.

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe aims to import one million tonnes of grain by March 2025.

Apparently, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa declared the drought a national disaster in March.

And over 2.7 million Zimbabweans face hunger due to poor yields caused by the drought.

The Government has granted duty-free importation of maize, rice, and cooking oil from July 2024.

Duty waiver on importation of rice, potato seed, and genetically modified maize for stock feed has also been imposed.

Rice and potatoes deemed key staples for national food security by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development.