Zimbabwe 'on track to regain its bread basket status', says Mnangagwa

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly said that his country is doing well in regaining its breadbasket status, following the introduction of the command agriculture over the past two years.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Mnangagwa said that Zimbabwe ended hunger after the introduction of the programme.

The main aim for the command agriculture programme was to ensure self-food sustenance after which exports would follow to help the country earn the much needed foreign currency.

"As the country continued to face persistent years of drought, we sat as government and said we are a blessed country tucked between Zambezi and Limpopo river so why droughts? We then thought of command agriculture and... the country is doing well in food security," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.

The Zimbabwean government said in June last year that it had banned grain imports from regional countries, including South Africa.

The southern African country said at the time that it was looking to export grain following a bumper harvest that saw most farmers surpassing the targeted yield per hectare.

Reports this week, however, said that the country was still importing grain, with NewsDay, saying that the latest trade data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) showed that the country imported maize worth $976 765 in three months, from February to April this year.

"Beside maize imports, the foreign currency starved nation imported rice worth $34,4 million, durum wheat ($27,4m), soya beans ($3,2m), ground nuts ($2,1m), fresh grapes ($1,2m), grain sorghum ($710 676), apples ($627 625), peaches ($38 680) and peas ($1 025), among others," the report said.  

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