Zimbabwe hands out Zambian grain to stave off starvation

Zimbabwe hands out Zambian grain to stave off starvation

Zimbabwe’s Agriculture Minister Joseph Made says that imported maize is being handed out to vulnerable people in a bid to stave of famine.

Zimbabwe’s Agriculture Minister Joseph Made says the new administration has started handing out maize to those people who are vulnerable to starvation in the southern parts of the country.

The Mail & Guardian two weeks ago reported that the United Nations had said in a report that more than 2.2-million people in half of Zimbabwe’s 10 political provinces are facing a famine.

The M&G also exposed that Zimbabwe’s strategic grain reserve parastatal, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), which is charged with grain procurement and securing reserves, is in serious trouble because its silos are nearly empty.

Made admitted that the 3 400 tonnes of grain the government bought from Zambia earlier this year is inadequate.

However, he was quick to say that no one would starve because the government had “sound plans” to avert serious food shortages. He also said the GMB was on top of the situation.

Made said that the GMB’s chief executive officer, Albert Mandizha, gave him an update this week on the movement of grain.

Distribution continues

“The grain continues to move into the country from Zambia and the trunk that we paid for, which is about 3 400 tonnes, has now arrived.”

Made said it was being distributed in Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North, in some parts of Manicaland, in Masvingo and in some parts of the Midlands.

He was retained by President Robert Mugabe for the agriculture portfolio despite the country’s disastrous farming output in the past five years.