1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. Southern Africa
  4. Zimbabwe

Maize yields expected to improve

Maize crop

The US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) is predicting a slight increase in Zimbabwe's maize yield per hectare in the 2008/09 harvest.

FAS conducted satellite and ground surveys from 23 to 27 February, when crop growth was near the maximum leaf area index during mid-season, according to a report released by the department.

Factors working against a better harvest were dollarization, making inputs too costly for small-scale farmers, a drop of 85 percent in seed production capacity since 2000, and the poor quality of available seed, combined with shortages of all other inputs such as fertilizers, lime, pesticides and diesel.

Zimbabwe's 2007/08 maize harvest of 580,000mt was the worst on record and led to humanitarian organizations providing emergency food assistance to about seven million people. Zimbabwe's national maize requirement is 1.8 million tons.

The maize yield estimate per hectare was estimated by the FAS at 0.44 tons, a slight increase on the yield from the previous year of 0.40 tons. The joint World Food Programme/Food Agriculture Organization crop assessment for Zimbabwe is expected to be released in mid-June.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.

Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.

We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian. 

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.