Tapiwanashe Mangwiro-Senior Business Reporter
TREASURY has revised upwards its 2021 growth projection for agriculture to 36,2 percent, citing higher than anticipated output in grains and livestock production.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube revealed this at the 2022 pre-budget seminar held in Victoria Falls from last Friday to Sunday this year.
“Growth of the sector in 2021 has been revised upwards to 36,2 percent, from the initial projection of 34 percent, on account of higher-than-anticipated performance of tobacco, wheat and livestock, particularly beef, poultry, pork, sheep and goats,” Mthuli told parliamentarians.
A total of 210 000 tonnes of tobacco are expected to be delivered this year up from 184 000 tonnes delivered last year, with wheat expected at 276 000t from a previous harvest of 212 000t in 2020.
Beef and poultry are expected to close at 67 800t and 163 500t respectively.
Zimbabwe is anticipating a volume of more than 300 000 metric tonnes of wheat this year, against an annual requirement of 360 000 metric tonnes.
Wheat deliveries plummeted following the land reform exercise of the early 2000s, undertaken to accommodate the landless majority, but production has been on the increase due to Government support for farmers.
Maize production has over the years also registered major growth.
This year Zimbabwe suspended maize imports after the country recorded a bumper maize harvest of 2,8 million tonnes of the staple crop, against the national consumption of 1,8 million metric tonnes annually.
The increase in maize production was attributed to abundant rainfall received in the 2020/2021 farming season, and early distribution of inputs and support to farmers by the Government.
The area under maize also rose to 2 million hectares in the 2020/2021 farming season, against 1,5 million hectares a year earlier.
In terms of tobacco production, output this year outstripped last year’s deliveries of 185 million kilogrammes and reached 210 million kg.
The area under tobacco this year increased by 6,1 percent from 117,976 hectares cultivated in the 2019/20 season to 125 176 hectares in the 2020/21 season, with 84 000 hectares under irrigation.
This year Zimbabwe expects its economy to grow by 7,8 percent, driven by a successful agricultural season, recovering commodity prices, and increasing industrial production and exports.
In 2022, Treasury anticipates the sector to grow by a modest 5,1 percent, which it says will be spurred by the expected moderate rainfall and continued government support.
Livestock is also expected to remain buoyant on condition of expected good pastures and water availability.