HARARE, ZIMBABWE — With a record grain crop expected in the 2021-22 marketing year, the Zimbabwe government is making progress on its plan to increase the country’s grain reserves.

Zimbabwe, which has struggled with food insecurity over the past 30 years, announced in August that it plans to increase its strategic grain reserves to 1.5 million tonnes from 500,000 tonnes.

Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka told parliament that government steps are being taken to ensure that the GMB has the needed infrastructure to accommodate the expansion of grain reserves.

 The Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is forecasting corn production at more than 2.7 million tonnes this year on 1.95 million hectares, which is also a record.

There are also high expectations for the wheat harvest. During the 2021 winter cropping season, an estimated 66,435 hectares of wheat were planted, making it the country’s third largest hectarage since it gained independence in 1980.

The USDA estimates this year’s wheat crop at 180,000 tonnes, which would be a record.

This year’s wheat crop was produced through a government-guaranteed CBZ Agro-Yield program, private contractors and the Presidential Winter Wheat Scheme.