To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the state of agriculture in Zimbabwe; and what research they will use in considering possible support for future programmes involving agricultural rehabilitation, resettlement and land reform in Zimbabwe. [HL4597]
Recent UN reporting—by the Food and Agricultural Organisation and the World Food Programme—suggests that this year's maize harvest, Zimbabwe's main crop, will have more than doubled from last year's record low. This improvement is largely due to good rains and tools, seeds and fertiliser provided by the international community ahead of the growing season. Much work remains to be done to improve food security, increase production, ensure the availability of grain and generally stabilise the sector.
Our support will continue to be based on information provided by a range of food and nutritional assessments, principally by the UN. We will also look to the inclusive Government to drive progress in the agricultural sector as it has begun to do in its short term emergency recovery programme (STERP). A land reform commission is also planned which will start its work by conducting a land audit expected to deliver results later in the year.