Zimbabwe Helps Drought-stricken Farmers Grow More Maize
Zimbabwe Helps Drought-stricken Farmers Grow More Maize.
"I prefer [to sell] tobacco because when we compare prices, maize [corn] prices are lower than tobacco’s," Tarutsvira said.
"But if … tobacco gives you three-four times over what maize is giving you, go for that which gives you money.
Zacharia points out Zimbabwe could use the profit from tobacco crops to import maize that is more affordable.
"Even as a nation, we could put high-value crops in our fields, make the money that you require, import the grain.
It [is] much, much cheaper than the current $390 that we buy it locally," he said.
The El-Nino-induced drought in 2015 and 2016 left Zimbabwe with serious food shortages.
In return, the farmers will give the government five tons of maize per hectare at harvest time.
So far, the rains have been good this year, and Zimbabwe’s minister of agriculture, Joseph Made, said that, thanks to the initiative, the country is on track to harvest enough maize for local consumption — as much as two million tons.
Next month, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society will gather to figure out other incentives for farmers to plant maize crops in the hopes of easing the country’s perennial food shortages.