The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union says it welcomes the government’s decision to ban maize and mealie-meal imports though the announcement comes before the release of the final report on crop assessment from the Agricultural, Technical and Extension Services.
Deputy Agriculture minister responsible for crops and irrigation, Davis Mharapira, told The Sunday Mail that the government has since stopped issuing import permits for onions and tomatoes and there will be no more maize and mealie-meal imports from April 30th this year.
The deputy minister said the government wants to protect local farmers from cheap imports currently flooding the country.
ZCFU president, Wonder Chabikwa, told VOA Studio 7 local grains must be cleared first from the market before any imports.
He said there is need for imports because last season’s maize harvest was not enough to feed the nation and livestock until the next harvest.
Crops in the southern parts of the country are already wilting due to lack of rains.
“We know we are unable again this year to produce adequate for our food requirements for both human and livestock, so importation shall be required but not now, but later,” said Chabikwa.