Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Matabeleland hit by serious food shortage

Matabeleland hit by serious food shortage

Saturday, 06 March 2010 19:57

BULAWAYO – Matabeleland South and North provinces will require urgent food aid in the next two months owing to widespread crop failure this season. The number of people in need of emergency food aid has been put at 1,3 million with Matabeleland South being the most affected as 700 000 face starvation.

Angeline Masuku, the Matabeleland South governor on Thursday said they had only managed to mobilise 600 tonnes of maize for drought relief.

“We have so far managed to put together 600 metric tonnes of maize just to be ready for any eventualities that could arise,” she said.

“We are quite aware there are many people in my province that are still finishing up their little harvest from last year and they shall be coming to seek assistance very soon.”

Matabeleland North governor, Thokozile Mathuthu said three of the seven districts were in dire need of food aid.

“Areas such as Ntabazinduna, Tsholotsho, and Nyamandlovu are in need of food,” she said.

“These areas have been affected by the incessant rains that fell in those parts and the villagers have given up hope of harvesting anything.

“This is because the crops there have been submerged in water to an extent that they can no longer mature.”

Mathuthu said the San community, which is mainly made up of hunters and gatherers was the hardest hit.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last month went on a tour of the two provinces to assess the food situation and he described it as catastrophic.

Agriculture Minister, Joseph Made recently said 11% of this season’s maize crop had been written off following a prolonged dry spell.

Zimbabwe has faced constant food deficits since it embarked on a controversial land reform programme in 2000.



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