Zambia sends maize to Zimbabwe

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ZIMBABWE was on Tuesday expected to receive close to 10 000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia as an estimated 2,2 million locals are said to be in need of food aid due to poor harvests realised in the last cropping season.

CHIEF REPORTER

In May, President Robert Mugabe and Zambian Vice-President Guy Scott ironed out a deal for the importation of 150 000 tonnes of maize from Zambia.

The Zambian Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has since begun exporting part of the 150 000 metric tonnes of maize.

FRA executive director Chola Kafwabulula was quoted in the Zambian Post saying from the 150 000 tonnes consignment to Zimbabwe, at least 8 450 metric tonnes had left the country.

“Another shipment from the 150 000 metric tonnes will be leaving tomorrow (yesterday),” he said.

The World Food Programme estimates that 2,2 million will be in need of emergency food aid before the next harvest period in March 2014.

Zimbabwe faces a grain deficit of 870 000 metric tonnes, a latest the government report revealed.

Matabeleland North has the highest percentage of vulnerability, with 40% of the population in need of food aid, followed by Masvingo with 33%, Matabeleland South 32% and the Midlands with 41%.

The poor grain output is mainly a result of the erratic rainfall pattern witnessed during the 2012-2013 season, which affected yields and hectarage.