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Zimbabwe Government Sees Rebound in Maize Harvests, Eyes Agriculture Revival


A Finance Ministry report said maize output rose in the 2008-2009 season after years of decline, noting production of 1.2 million tonnes of maize in the latest season vs. less than 600,00 metric tonnes in 2007-2008

Zimbabwe has made notable progress toward recovering its self-sufficiency in the production of the national staple of maize, according to a macro-economic report and recovery plan issued last week by the Ministry of Finance.

The report said maize output expanded in the 2008-2009 season after years of decline with estimated production of 1.2 million tonnes of maize in the most recent season, compared with fewer than 600,00 metric tonnes in 2007-2008 and less than 1 million tonnes in the 2006-2007 cropping season.

The macro-economic plan targets "double-digit growth" in agricultural output in the 2010-2012 period through, among other measures, guaranteeing security of tenure on farmland to producers "to overcome uncertainty, facilitate access to credit, and improve investment," improved financing, market pricing that "rewards production," mechanization and irrigation.

Zimbabwean agricultural expert Mandla Nkomo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Brenda Moyo in an interview from Johannesburg that a great deal of planning must be done to ensure the country regains food self-sufficiency.

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