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Friday, July 19, 2024

Immediate logistical support required to avert drought effects

Story by Tendai Munengwa

THE declaration of the 2023/24 summer cropping season as a state of disaster has triggered efforts to mobilise resources to transport grain and provide water to the hardest-hit areas.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has activated all systems to mobilise resources towards averting the effects of the El Nino-induced drought, in line with the declaration of a state of disaster by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“We have identified key areas which call for emergency response, the first is we urgently require support for logistics to move grain and hay to the affected people and livestock respectively. Another emergency is to deal with water supplies, we need resources to go full time into borehole sinking in all affected areas,” said Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary, Professor Obert Jiri.

The need for maximum support towards massive winter wheat production has also been identified as a priority to deal with adverse effects of drought.

He added, “The winter wheat is another area which requires support, we want to make sure that all irrigable land is put to use and if we produce huge quantities then people can use the wheat for food or sell in order to buy maize.”

Professor Jiri noted that in the medium to long term, attention will be directed towards maximising production at all national dams like the Tugwi-Mukosi.

President Mnangagwa announced a US$2 billion budget for drought intervention measures to ensure that all the affected households are food secure.

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