Makoni acknowledges there will be a food shortage


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Finance Minister Simba Makoni acknowledged that there would be a food shortage and the country would have to import but there had been no budget provision for food imports.

“That there will be a shortage in national (food) production has been confirmed. The discussion is in the magnitude”, he said. “I am very concerned because our budget has not provided for food imports.”

Makoni’s admission was in sharp contrast to repeated statements by Agriculture Minister Joseph Made that the country would not have any food deficit. Made insisted that current stocks and the harvest would suffice.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE2117, EXPECTED FOOD SHORTAGE ACKNOWLEDGED BY A

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2117

2001-07-10 09:30

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

100930Z Jul 01

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO4632

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02117 100927Z

ACTION EB-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   AID-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00 CTME-00

INL-00   DODE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 EXME-00 EUR-00

E-00     FAAE-00 UTED-00 VC-00   FRB-00   H-01   TEDE-00

INR-00   ITC-01   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00

NSCE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 ACE-00   SP-00   IRM-00   SSO-00

STR-00   TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 FMP-00   DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

——————0372B8 100928Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9275

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

DEPTTREAS WASHDC

USDOC WASHDC

SECDEF WASHDC

USDA FAS WASHDC 0008

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

UNCLAS HARARE 002117

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR EB/IFD/OIA, AF/S, AF/EPS

USAID FOR AFR/SA, BHR/FFP, BHR/OFDA

 

USDOC FOR 4510 HENDERSON

STATE PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02117 100927Z

STATE PASS NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAI

FRAZIER

STATE PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA-PALMA, NEWMAN AND BHR/FPP

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

PRETORIA FOR AG ATTACHE RHELM

NAIROBI FOR REDSO/ESA/ARO-GGOTTLIEB AND ESA/FFP

USDA FAS FOR EXPORT CREDITS/CHAMBLISS AND FAA/AME

HOFFMAN

TREASURY FOR OASIA/ED BARBER AND C. WALKER

STATE PASS EXIM/MLHALEY, OPIC/RNEHRA

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAGR EAID EFIN ECON ZI

SUBJECT: EXPECTED FOOD SHORTAGE ACKNOWLEDGED BY A

CABINET MEMBER

 

 

1. (SBU) ON JULY 6 THE MINISTER FOR FINANCE AND

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SIMBA MAKONI, TOLD THE PRESS

FOLLOWING AN ADDRESS HE DELIVERED TO THE NATIONAL

ECONOMIC CONSULTATIVE FORUM THAT HIS MINISTRY’S GOOD

BUDGET RESULTS TO DATE FOR 2001 SHOWING A SMALL SURPLUS

WERE THREATENED BY THE NEED TO SET ASIDE FUNDS TO

IMPORT GRAIN AND MAIZE LATER IN THE YEAR. “THAT THERE

WILL BE A SHORTAGE IN NATIONAL (FOOD) PRODUCTION HAS

BEEN CONFIRMED. THE DISCUSSION IS IN THE MAGNITUDE”,

HE SAID. “I AM VERY CONCERNED BECAUSE OUR BUDGET HAS

NOT PROVIDED FOR FOOD IMPORTS”, MAKONI ADDED. THE

FINANCE MINISTER ALSO STATED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD

APPROACH DONORS TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE THEY

COULD OFFER IN THE FACE OF THE LOOMING FOOD SHORTFALL.

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02117 100927Z

 

2. (SBU) THIS MARKS THE FIRST TIME A HIGH GOVERNMENT

OFFICIAL HAS PUBLICLY CONTRADICTED THE LINE MAINTAINED

BY AGRICULTURE MINISTER MADE, THAT THE COUNTRY FACES NO

FOOD DEFICIT OR SHORTFALL, AND THAT CURRENT STOCKS AND

THE HARVEST WILL SUFFICE. IT ALSOFOLLOWS THE DECISION

BY THE AGRICULTURE MINISTERON JULY 3 TO GIVE THE GRAIN

MARKETING BOARD A TOAL MONOPOLY OVER ALL MAIZE SALES,

DECLARING ALL CORN HARVESTED IN ZIMBABWE A “NATIONAL

ASSET”, EFFCTIVELY HALTING ALL PRIVATE SALES BETWEEN

GROWER AND, FOR EXAMPLE, MILLERS OR OTHER WHOLESALE

USRS. (MAIZE SALES WERE LIBERALIZED IN THE EARLY

990’S AFTER A WORLD BANK AND USAID FUNDED MARKET

REFORM PROGRAM, AND THE SETUP OF THE ZIMBABWE

AGRCULTURAL COMMODITY EXCHANGE (ZIMACE).)   IT IS, IN

THE WORDS OF A FOOD SECURITY EXPERT BASED HERE, A

GIANT STEP BACKWARD” FOR ZIMBABWE’S AGRICULTURL SECTOR

AND THE CONSUMER AS WELL, AND IT MAY VERY WELL COMMIT

THE COUNTRY TO A LEGACY OF FOOD SHOTAGES IN COMING

YEARS.

 

3. (SBU) COMMENT: DESITE REPEATED GOVERNMENT

ASSURANCES TO THE CONTRAY, OUR ANALYSIS SUPPORTS

MINISTER MAKONI’S CONTETIONS REGARDING THE LIKELIHOOD

OF POTENTIALLY SERIOUS FOOD SHORTAGES OVER THE COMING

YEAR(S). MOROVER, THE RE-MONOPOLIZATION OF THE

DOMESTIC GRAI TRADE WILL LIKELY EXACERBATE THESE

PROBLEMS IF URSUED FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME. HOWEVER,

AS WE’V RECENTLY SEEN WITH DEVALUATION, IT REMAINS TO

BE SEEN WHETHER THIS GOVERNMENT WILL ACT ON MAKONI’S

COUNSEL IN THIS INSTANCE, AS THIS WOULD ONLY ADD O THE

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02117 100927Z

GROWING LIST OF GOVERNMENT FAILURES. IF RQUESTED,

DONOR SUPPORT WOULD PROBABLY BE FORTHCOING FOR SUCH

HUMANITARIAN PURPOSES. HOWEVER, SUCH ASSISTANCE WOULD

NOT COME WITHOUT POTENTIALLY DFFICULT CONDITIONALITY

FOR THE GOVERNMENT DURINGTHIS SENSITIVE ELECTION

PERIOD, INCLUDING, AMONGOTHER THINGS, A FULL WAIVER

FROM THE PROPOSED BA ON PRIVATE GRAIN TRADING FOR

OBVIOUS POLITICAL REASONS. END COMMENT.

 

WOERNER

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

(7 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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