ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe needs to import about 1.1 million tons of grain to cater for food-insecure people until March next year, Dr Jenfan Muswere, Minister for Publicity and Broadcasting Services said during a media briefing after a cabinet meeting.

According to the latest assessment report, Zimbabwe has a shortfall of 1,108,425 tons of grain at a consumption level of 10 kg per person per month.

The minister highlighted that the shortfall can be met mostly by the private sector, by importing 1 million tons between April 2024 and March 2025.

The county attributes the current food insecurity to the ravaging El Nino-induced shocks including floods and drought, exacerbated by economic instability.

The country is therefore devising measures to cushion its citizens from staving through a raft of measures.

Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the drought ravaging the country a state of disaster in a bid to marshal resources and avert possible starvation. He also appealed for US$2 billion from well-wishers to respond to the drought, after cereal harvests declined to about 868,273 tons from 2.3 million tons last year

Zimbabwe needs 2.2 million tons of cereal annually for both human and livestock consumption

Speaking in an Interview, Professor Obert Jiri Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary said the private sector started importing grain last August, adding that this is critical in addressing food shortages in the country.

He revealed that 7.7 million people in the country are in dire need of food aid, from both rural and urban areas.

“After our assessment, about 6 million in communal areas and 1,7 million in urban areas need food aid. So as Government, we need to intervene and ensure that all these people are food secure.”

“We urge private players to import as much as possible to avert food shortages. The other issue is the bigger wheat hectarage that we are targeting this season. It will curb food shortages as well,’’ he said.

Prof Jiri added that all vulnerable and food-insecure households will have access to grain as the Second Republic scales up efforts to fight hunger across the country.

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