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Government requires US$1,5 billion to import grain and other related social safety nets.
1.4 million tonnes of grains are needed to feed at least three million people until March 2017.Government requires US$1,5 billion to import grain and other related social safety nets.
1.4 million tonnes of grains are needed to feed at least three million people until March 2017.
The US$1.5 billion appeal from the government to domestic partners follows the declaration of the 2015-2016 agricultural season as a national disaster owing to the El-Nino effects which saw a some parts of the country receiving below normal rainfall.
Appealing for assistance from domestic partners in Harare, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said 95 percent of the country has received below 50 percent of normal rains with Masvingo Province being the most affected.
He added that there is need to feed at least 3 million people who have been affected.
“Masvingo has 75 percent of maize being a write off while Matabeleland South has 65 percent write off. 30 percent of the rural communities, which is 3 million people are food insecure and they require food assistance. So we need US$1.5 billion from the private sector and other organisations to support the emergence relief programme.,” said Mnangagwa.
The effects of the El Nino have not spared livestock and wild animals.
Dams have dried up, while 71 percent of boreholes are mal-functioning, leading to the death of about 16 000 cattle.
“The prices of livestock have plummeted, a situation compounded by the foot and mouth disease which has seen 16 681 cattle dying. Masvingo alone had a death toll of about 6566 cattle,” said Mnangagwa.
The US$1.5 billion will be used for the importation of grain, food security and social protection programmes to vulnerable people, livestock support programme, wildlife support programme and irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation, among other initiatives.