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Gvt kicks off food distribution

By Agencies

The government has begun distribution of food aid to areas severely affected by the El Nino-induced drought, a Cabinet minister has said.

The distribution follows the completion of the Household-based Village-co-ordinated Rapid Vulnerability Assessment and the Urban Food and Nutrition Council assessment which indicated that close to 60% of the population is in dire need of food aid.

During post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare yesterday, Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka said movement for grain to mid rural areas had started.

“The movement is in two parts. It is movement from surplus areas; GMB to GMB and then from the GMB to the mid rural areas,” he said.

Masuka was, however, put under pressure to elaborate on government’s insistence that Zimbabwe has enough grains to cover the entire population.

“I do not know if it is me throwing the numbers or it is people who do not understand and choose to ascribe these numbers to terms,” Masuka said.

“The numbers we give you are the correct statistics of the food situation in the country. In the strategic grain reserve we have 426 088. This is what we communicate. Government’s responsibility is to feed everyone in the rural areas who needs food between now and March 2025,” he said.

Masuka said the government would have an appreciation of the magnitude of the drought from the 2nd Round of the Crops and Livestock Assessment Report.
He said the report would advise the nation on how much would Zimbabwe get from the 2023/24 agricultural season.

“Zimbabwe currently has about 744 270 tonnes of grains in the strategic reserves.

“We are going to do winter wheat production and we aim to produce 600 000 metric tonnes. Our annual requirement for soft wheat is 360 000 metric tonnes.

“We have a surplus of 240 000 metric tonnes which we will add to the grain reserve which already has 426 088 metric tonnes,” he said.

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