Zimbabwe has banned grain imports into the country after producing enough to feed itself, just a year after a devastating drought left more than 4 million in need of food aid, a state-owned newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The southern African nation’s grain agency has also raised $200 million from the government and private sector to purchase maize from farmers, the Herald newspaper said.
“Government stopped issuing Grain Import permits about four months ago and no maize imports are allowed at our borders,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Davis Marapira was quoted as saying.
He said the country currently has 180,000 tonnes of maize in its reserves and 56,000 of it was recently delivered by farmers at the end of the farming season.
The country is expected to save about $500 million dollars this year after instituting the ban, he added.
Zimbabwe faced severe drought in 2016 and early 2017 leaving the country reliant on grain imports.
Rains and government assistance to farmers boosted agricultural output and yielded positive results for farmers.