World & Community

Zim insists it is hunger free despite ravaging drought

By Staff Writer

DESPITE the ravaging impact of drought which donor agencies have equated to war hit nations, the government insists all is well maintaining it has the capacity to feed its citizens.

The Southern Africa nation has just emerged from the worst agricultural season which has seen the cruel impact of the El-Nini induced drought affecting a sizeable chunk of crops in a development plunging millions of citizens into the risk of hunger.

WFP’s country representative in Zimbabwe recently equated the situationobtaining in Zimbabwe to that of a war torn nation.
A convergence of challenges, “the economic dynamics, currency issues, climatic issues, the harvest, make Zimbabwe regularly feature on a hotspot list of food-security risks in the world,”
The WFP anticipates that about 2.7 million people, or a just over a quarter of the rural population, will run short of grain in the first quarter of this year, Erdelmann said.

There is “the El Nino phenomenon, erratic rainfall, very high temperatures, that may have an impact on the possible harvest from this agricultural season, which mean that a number of people will be running out of cereals” before the next harvest, she said.
However, Ziyambi Ziyambi has downplayed the situation insisting that the nation’s exposure to drought is not related to food insufficiency.

“We are faced with a drought, but we are not yet food deficient,” Ziyambi said.

“We have pockets that did not perform well the previous season. So we are in the middle of assessing the extent of the ravages of El Niño and we are coming up with a package to ensure that as a nation, we will be food self-sufficient.”

Ziyambi urged Zimbabweans not to panic, even as indications are proving otherwise.

Last week, the government removed duty on mealie meal and other products beginning July to avert looming food shortages because of the drought.

“We do not want the nation to panic that we are not food self-sufficient right now,” Ziyambi said.

“We are doing the assessment so that at the end of the day, we will come up with a plan of action that will ensure that Zimbabweans do not starve. We will look at options that would need genetically-modified organism if need be,” he added.

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