Zim moves towards food, water security
ZIMBABWE has recorded an improvement in food security over the past few years, a development which dovetails with Vision 2030 prospects of ensuring the country becomes a middle-income economy.
According to the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZimStat), the percentage of households with improved drinking water sources at national level stands at 84,4 percent.
This follows reports that crop conditions have significantly improved following favourable rainfall patterns in many parts of the country, a development which will see an improvement in access to food.
Food security occurs when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
ZimStat director-general Mr Taguma Mahonde said among key highlights of the Zimbabwe Food Security Fact Sheet, there had been improvements in the consumption of fruits and vegetables both in rural and urban areas.
“An average of 84,4 percent of households have improved drinking water sources and figures stand at 96 percent in urban areas and 74,9 percent in rural areas. Another highlight is that the percentage of households with improved sanitation facilities at the national level is 71,7 percent,” he said.
Mr Mahonde said the country is yet to achieve the World Health Organisation’s daily fruit and vegetable intake recommended level of 400 grams per person per day.
“We also noted that people in Zimbabwe consumed more than recommended cereals, sugar, fats and oils and less than recommended dairy products, fruits, vegetables, animal products, pulses and nuts. Median cost per 1 000 calories of a diet in Zimbabwe was US$0,09.”
He also expressed gratitude to the Government, COMESA and Statistics Norway for the support rendered throughout the food security project.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Ministry permanent secretary Dr John Basera recently said the country is now food secure after achieving bumper maize and wheat harvests in the last few cropping seasons.
Dr Basera applauded farmers for working hard last year to achieve a milestone in wheat production, after attaining a record-breaking 375 000 tonnes of wheat and 1,5 million tonnes of maize last season.
“We started to operationalise the Agriculture Recovery Growth Plan and we managed to score 2,7 million tonnes of maize during the 2020-2021 cropping season. We recorded 375 000 tonnes of wheat (last season) and for the first time since 1966, we are flour self-sufficient and that’s incredible,” he said.
The Government has initiated public-private sector engagements to ensure its projections of a harvest of about 3 million tonnes of maize from the present season, are realised.
The huge maize output would be coming from a targeted hectarage of 1 940 969ha, representing a 3 percent rise from 1,9 million hectares planted last year.
Soya bean growth rose from 52 000ha to 56 000ha, a move that will also ensure Zimbabwe has reasonable quantities of raw materials for the production of cooking oil, thereby reducing the import bill.