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Zimbabwe Plans Export of ‘Surplus’ Maize As Many Locals Struggle to Put Food On Table


Ahead of national polls on 23 August, the Zanu-PF government is crowing about a bumper grain harvest and the first grain exports in two decades. Yet some parts of the country are facing famine.

Zimbabwe’s food security situation has improved, but many citizens might still face hunger if authorities go ahead with plans to export grain after the country’s agricultural sector posted two successive record harvests before proper stock assessments to feed citizens are made.

This comes as the governing Zanu-PF party and its opponents are using all tactics to win the hearts and minds of voters ahead of general elections expected on 23 August.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is set to begin maize exports – after a surplus – for the first time in more than two decades. But humanitarian organisations warn that millions of Zimbabwean citizens could need food aid.

The maize harvest boom comes against the backdrop of Zimbabwe also reporting record tobacco sales of nearly 300 million kilograms since the tobacco selling season opened in March. The previous record was 259 million kilograms in 2019.

The country’s economy nosedived when the late president Robert Mugabe, who was forced to resign in November 2017 after a military coup, embarked on chaotic land grabs in the early 2000s, displacing close to 4,500 white commercial farmers and leaving thousands of farm workers destitute.

Driven into poverty

Mismanagement and rampant corruption have also…



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