HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua)
-- Zimbabwe expects to produce up to 1.8
million tonnes of the staple maize in 2017 from 512,000 tonnes last
year due to good rains received this season, the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) said on Wednesday.
An increase in production
of other cereal crops was also forecast this year following a
devastating El-Nino induced drought in 2016 which left 4 million of
the nation’s 14 million people in need of food aid.
RBZ governor John Mangudya said the favorable rains would boost
agricultural productivity and help stimulate economic growth given
that the country’s economy was agriculture based.
"The good agricultural season that is anticipated to produce
around 1,500,000 - 1,800,000 tonnes of maize and other cereals from
1,595,000 hectares requires government to mobilize funding for the
Grain Marketing Board to purchase grain from farmers," the governor
said in the 2017 first-half monetary policy statement.
He said cotton seed output was also forecast to rise to 100,000
tonnes from 32,000 tonnes last year.
Tobacco leaf output, the country’s largest foreign currency
earner, was expected to jump to between 200 million and 215 million
kg from 183 million kg in 2016 due to an export incentive scheme
introduced last November, the governor said.
The export incentive scheme is being financed through bond notes
whose circulation now stands at 94 million since introduction in
The bond notes, also introduced to ease current cash shortages in
the economy, are trading at par with the U.S. dollar.
Mangudya said the export incentive will also be extended to
tourism to encourage foreign currency generation by the sector.