Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Japan avails US$5 million for drought relief

Japan avails US$5 million for drought relief

April 14, 2013 in Community News

The Japanese Government has availed 460 million Japanese Yen (US$5,7 
million) to the World Food Programme (WFP) to feed Zimbabweans facing food 
shortages due to drought.

By Our Staff

Farmer organisations estimated Zimbabwe’s maize deficit of 1,4 million 
tonnes following a poor 2012/13 growing season, which was characterised by 
low and delayed rainfalls in most parts of the country.

Zimbabwe’s annual consumption of maize meal, the main staple food, averages 
2,2 million tonnes. However, organisations such as the Zimbabwe Commerical 
Farmers Union, estimate this year’s maize output at 800 000 tonnes from an 
initial projection of 1,2 million tonnes.
This has necessitated massive food imports to avert mass starvation.

Some embassies and non-governmental organisations therefore stepped in to 
help prevent hunger in the country. Japan’s food aid  programme through the 
WFP was launched in the Rushinga District, north east of Zimbabwe, one of 
the areas in the country that faces a food deficit.

“The food aid launch which took off in Rushinga will allow WFP to scale up 
operations and ensure that vulnerable families in drought-stricken areas 
continue to receive maize and peas in the difficult months before the 
harvest in April,” Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Yonezo Fukuda said at an 
official handover ceremony attended by WFP country director, Felix Bamezon.

Apart from intervening through the supply of grain, the Japanese embassy has 
also been supporting irrigation schemes and safe water projects throughout 
the country in order to promote agriculture and food security.

The projects, in which  more than a million dollars has been injected, will 
benefit more than 3000 households in areas such as Chipinge District in 

Agricultural experts point out that in order for Zimbabwe to maintain food 
security, irrigation and water harvesting, instead of sole dependence on dry 
land cropping, must be stepped up. They point to climatological changes 
which are adversely affecting Zimbabwe’s rainfall patterns.

Given government’s constraints in providing agricultural extension services, 
the embassy, in conjunction with organisations such as Africa 2000 and the 
Mercy Corps, are providing training to improve cultivation skills and 
resource management. It is hoped that by helping the rural families improve 
their farming methods and having their agricultural capacity enhanced, 
Zimbabwe will in the medium to long-term be food-secure. 


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