HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Zimbabwe plans to increase its strategic grain reserves to 1.5 million tonnes from 500,000 tonnes, Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka told parliament last week, the Daily News reported.

He said the Zimbabwe government is working to ensure that the country’s Grain Marketing Board has the needed infrastructure to accommodate the expansion of grain reserves.

The Daily News noted that Zimbabwe had sufficient grain reserves in the late 1980s, but the International Monetary Fund forced the country to liquidate them for cash. This decision led to food insecurity over the last 30-plus years as Zimbabwe faces the challenge of feeding its people against a background of scarce access to currency limiting its farming industry’s access to inputs and its processing industry’s access to imported grain.

The International Grains Council puts Zimbabwe’s corn production at 900,000 tonnes in 2020-21, up from 800,000 the year before. It forecasts the country’s total grains imports at 900,000 tonnes in 2020-21, up from 800,000 in 2019-20.