Climate Change has caused the change of the political dynamics of Southern Africa. Zimbabwe once an agricultural power house of the region has slipped into a food debtor nation through the event of Climate Change related drought following on the heels of mass land reform. Nations like Zambia have gained in regional prestige because of their grain abundance.
In addition, this has forced Zimbabwe even closer, if possible, to the edge of economic collapse because the increased debt to fund the import of grain. South Africa also once an economic power house for the entire continent of Africa is currently racked by mass protests and strikes over service outages and food shortages related to Climate Change.
14 June 2016
By Abigail Mawonde
GOVERNMENT has imported over 100 000 tonnes of maize worth $12,7 million since last October under the drought relief programme aimed at assisting vulnerable families with food.Statistics have shown that 3,3 million people are in need of food aid and Government has stepped up its grain mobilisation and distribution efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of drought.
In his report to the National Consultative Assembly on Friday last week, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the grain payments were made under the $200 million Afreximbank facility.
"Government has made a commitment to import up to 700 000 tonnes of maize over the period October 2015 to December 2016. As at May 31, 2016, Government had imported 112 131 tonnes of maize. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has paid $12,7 million for deliveries made to date under the $200 million Afreximbank facility," said Cde Chinamasa.
He said Government also provided the Grain Marketing Board, the Department of Social Services and District Development Fund with $3 million to meet costs associated with internal distribution of maize.
Cde Chinamasa said cumulative distribution of maize to the vulnerable households countrywide since January this year stood at 94 300 tonnes against a target of 120 000 tonnes.
On local grain purchase by the GMB, he said: "The 2016/17 grain marketing season started on April 1, 2016. A total of 34 410 tonnes of maize valued at $13,4 million and 515 tonnes of wheat valued at $257 500 had been delivered as at May 31, 2016. A total of $11,3 million had been paid for current deliveries leaving an outstanding balance of $2,1 million as at the May 31, 2016."