Zimbabwe has adequate maize seeds for this season: official

HARARE, Nov 22, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Zimbabwean Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Joseph Made said Friday that the government would do everything possible to make sure the nation had adequate maize seeds.

Speaking at a meeting with members of Zimbabwe's Chiefs Council in Harare, Made said the country had produced 47,000 tons of maize seeds for this season, which was way above the normal average but due to high demand, the seeds were inadequate.

"We are presently in talks with South Africa to see if it can give us more seeds. But now, other countries such as Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola are also in need of seeds from South Africa and it is our hope that we will get something as well," Made said.

He said Zimbabwe was also facing a shortage of sorghum seeds although some seeds had arrived in the country.

However, he did not disclose the source and quantity of the sorghum seeds.

Made emphasized on the need to strengthen the irrigation capacity of the country, adding that the government would continue to offer technical assistance to small-scale irrigation farmers to boost food security.

He announced that the government would set aside some of the designated farms for grazing pastures in view of the deteriorating state of grazing pastures in some drought-prone provinces such as provinces of Midlands, Masvingo and Matabeleland.

It was reported that Zimbabwe urgently needed to import maize seeds this farming season because of the unavailability of the input locally due to drought.

Copyright 2002 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.

Copyright (c) 2002 Comtex News Network
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 11/22/2002 12:03:18