african grains

Zimbabwe is anticipating a bumper harvest of traditional small grains, with the increase in production being attributed to abundant rainfall received in the 2020-21 farming season, the Crop and Livestock Assessment Report released on Thursday by the Ministry of Agriculture said.

Small grains include sorghum and millet are ranked as the second staple cereal crop after maize in Zimbabwe.

Unlike water-thirsty maize, traditional small grains can help mitigate the effects of climate change-induced droughts since they are tropically adapted plants with high water use efficiency due to their structural characteristics.

Production of small grains this season is estimated at 347,968 tons, compared to 152,515 tons recorded in the 2019-20 planting season.

Most districts in the country are expecting to harvest enough small grains to last more than 12 months with only a few areas having enough to cater for six months and below, according to the report.

To counter the risk of poor yields due to climate change, the government is encouraging smallholder farmers in drought-prone areas to focus more on producing small grains.

Meanwhile, after relying on grain imports, this year Zimbabwe is anticipating a record maize harvest, with about 2.8 million tons expected to be delivered to the Grain Marketing Board.

The anticipated bumper crop harvest could see Zimbabwe becoming food secure and reclaim its status as the breadbasket of the region. Enditem

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