by caster ken clomegah
While many African countries depend largely on Russia and Ukraine for regular supplies of wheat and grain, even in the face of constant geopolitical warfare, Zimbabwe recorded its highest ever wheat harvest this agricultural production year. is of.
Zimbabwe has achieved this milestone in wheat production by harvesting 375 000 tonnes of grain in 2022, according to the Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services. Thus, Zimbabwe has emerged as one of the few African countries that have adopted the import substitution agriculture policy and are working strategically towards it. Self reliance.
Many African leaders have blamed the Russia–Ukraine crisis, which began on 24 February, while others focused on spending state budgets to import food to quell growing discontent among the population. . In contrast, Zimbabwe offered support to its local farmers, and its crop results are credited to the government’s strenuous efforts at agricultural transformation based on active private and public sector participation.
For years, the country could not meet national requirements and had to import wheat from other countries, according to Farmers Review Africa.
The weekly update indicates that all provinces have completed harvesting. It also shows that the cumulative area in the provinces is 78 063 hectares, which is 97 percent of the planted area with a cumulative production of 375 131 tonnes.
Working together as a team, Professor Obert Jiri, Chief Director of the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Service, said; They managed to improve the production of wheat.
He said, ‘Yes, we managed to achieve the target. It was through hard work, commitment and working together to produce enough wheat for the country. The effort is greatly appreciated, and we are positive that we can do even more of this next season,” said Professor Obert.
Tafadzwa Musarara, national president of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), said wheat harvests have steadily increased, adding that if the private sector continues to work with the government, widespread imports could be permanently eliminated. Will go
“This year we have the biggest yield since wheat started. This year, the government has empowered not only farmers but also consumers in product supply and price stability. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has created serious problems for us. Partnership with the government is important in terms of food sufficiency. We used to import $300 million worth of wheat; we don’t do that anymore and want to domesticate it. We are able to secure raw materials for the whole year. were also successful,” Musrara said.
During the 2022 winter cropping season, 78 063 ha was put under wheat, the highest agricultural land area recorded since independence and was followed by planting in 2004 (70 585 ha) and 2005 (67 261 ha) Went. The country had set a target of producing 380 000 tonnes of wheat, but rain and fires affected part of the crop.
The Agroexport Federal Center for Development of Agribusiness Exports of Russia, in close partnership with Trust Technologies and the trade expert community, has developed a concept for the development of exports of key agricultural products (cereals, dairy, butter, meat and confectionery products). African countries market.
“The African continent is an interesting and promising region for the development of Russian food exports due to a number of factors: strong differences in the level of welfare of the population, political instability in some countries, state regulation of prices for a number of goods, etcetera,” Agroexport Dmitry Krasnov was quoted in the statement and reported by Russian media including the Interfax news agency.
By increasing grain exports to countries in Africa, Russia aims to increase the competitiveness of Russian agricultural goods in the African market. According to the Business Concept report, nine African countries have been identified and selected as target markets for delivery of agricultural products.
These are Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tunisia and South Africa.
This is expected to make up for the total volume of exports to African countries, which is expected to bring an estimated revenue of $33 billion to Russia.
Unlike food-importing African countries, Zimbabwe has increased wheat production, especially during this critical time of the current Russia-Ukraine crisis. This achievement was attributed to efforts to mobilize local scientists to improve crop production. Zimbabwe is an African country that has been under Western sanctions for 25 years, which hinders the import of much-needed machinery and other inputs from running agriculture.
Some experts and international organizations have also expressed the fact that African leaders must adopt import substitution mechanism and use their financial resources to strengthen agricultural production systems.
Establishing food security is critical for the millions of people facing hunger in Africa and is vital to the sustained economic growth and long-term prosperity of the continent. Therefore, addressing food security is critical for a growing Africa in the 21st century.
From various perspectives, African leaders have to focus and redirect both human and financial resources to increase local production, the definitive approach to achieving sustainable food security for the more than 1.3 billion population in Africa, and this is part of the African Agenda 2063. falls within the framework. Federation.