Home » Business » ZIMBABWE EXPECTS SMALL GRAINS OUTPUT OF 288,000 TONNES IN 2017 SEASON

HARARE, Zimbabwe is expecting to produce 288,000 tonnes of small grains from the 2016/17 season, up from 76,000 tons produced in 2014/15 according to the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU).

ZFU director Paul Zakariya told the Senate Thematic Committee on Peace and Security here Tuesday: The total small grains production for 2016/17 season is estimated at 288,000 tonnes versus 76,000 tonnes in the 2014/15 season.

Small grains are important and strategic to Zimbabwe in view of their drought tolerance and nutritional contribution. Zakariya said sorghum was the most grown small grain crop in the country.

The most planted small grain crop in Zimbabwe is sorghum with an average of 55.4 per cent of the total planted area. Millet is the second most planted, occupying on average 35.5 per cent of the total area committed to small grains, he said.

He attributed lack of government policy on promoting production of small grains as the major cause for low output of the crops.One of the issues underpinning low productivity of these small grains is lack of comprehensive small grains policy, and this is very important because it speaks also to the raising of awareness," he said.

We submit that there is no clear cut policy of promoting small grains production among the small holder farmers in semi-arid areas where they are thought to have a comparative advantage over maize."

Zakariya said the majority of farmers who grew small grains lacked knowledge about markets for the crops and as a result, only produced for their own consumption.

Zimbabwe peaked in production of small grains in 1988 when the country produced 450,000 tons, which as at 2014 had fallen by 50 percent to 225,000 tons.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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