Climate change, along with pressures caused by the conflict in Ukraine, has left many nations vulnerable to food insecurity, including Zimbabwe.
Maize production, which is a key staple, plummeted by 43 this year. The country is now seeking to import the crop as well as looking for alternative sources of wheat and fertilizer, usually sourced from Russia and Ukraine.
BBC Shanghai and Yoga traveled to Mudsey and Northeastern New Zimbabwe to find out how farmers are coping there. Ancient grains saved this subsistence.
Farmers from The Perfect Storm of erratic grains failed maize harvests and rising food prices due to the war in Ukraine, as well as sorghum and millet, but we got nothing from The Maze.
It was scorched after there had been no rain for three months. We harvested just the traditional grains of wife Rose Karina’s entire maze. She compared it to what she got from sorghum and millet, where she used a fraction of the seed and fertilizer.
I don’t want to plant maize anymore, “she says that proposition would have been Maze is the staple food here as well as a cash crop.
It’s also easier to market and process. That’s why machines are key to increasing traditional grain output by reducing the threshing time from weeks to hours.
The advantages are immense, say experts. The grains have better yields in arid regions and have a greater nutritional value.
The failure rate of the maize harvest is absolutely staggering, four out of every five seasons, and with a quarter of Zimbabweans needing food assistance. But experts say if more families grew traditional grains, they’d be able to feed themselves.
I think it certainly is a reset in the sense of really looking at how we rethink how the continent feeds itself. The U.N. Zimbabwe resilience building fund has helped 200, 000 farmers grow ancient grains.
If you look at what we know today in terms of climate impact, in terms of the war in Ukraine, and the disrupted supply chain for community-level resilience, then that is the way to go.
Zimbabwe’s maize flour is already scarce in this market. Zimbabwe is said to hold tepid strategic reserves and import grain to beef up supplies. Global uncertainties have prompted maize.
Fuel and fertilizer price hikes it’s why some continue to call for alternatives to lessen the import burden by making indigenous grains fashionable again. Shanghai Kyoka BBC News Zimbabwe