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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Govt to start distributing food aid to all villagers starting next month

Story by Mercy Bofu Matinha

THE Government says it has come up with sufficient plans and strategies to feed the country with the distribution of food aid for every household in rural communities expected to start next month.

In the face of the El Nino-induced drought threatening communities, the government says there is no need to panic as it targets to start distributing food aid in all rural communities starting next month.

Speaking on the sidelines of an engagement meeting with all the Ministers of State in Masvingo, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka said traditional leaders will assist in compiling village registers that will guide in food distribution.

“This meeting is held against the background of the ravaging induced El Nino drought and the consequences on rural communities. We are focusing on the food security outlook to March 2025 and how the government is going to be intervening and providing each person with 7.5 kgs of maize per person per month up to September and thereafter increasing to 8.5 kgs to March 2025.

“Measures have been put in place in six categories including cereal intervention measures which include what we hold in the stock and our target for the next winter season where we are targeting to produce over 600 000 metric tonnes of wheat from 120 000 hectares.”

The Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honorable Ezra Chadzamira concurred that agriculture programmes implemented by the government among them the Presidential Borehole Scheme have transformed community livelihoods.

“By fostering collaboration and open dialogue, we can overcome the challenges together and build a sustainable future for our agricultural sector. We can ensure that our farmers are equipped with the necessary resources, knowledge, and support to thrive in an ever-changing world. As a province we are adopting agroecological matching despite the season which is of poor quality, we are seeing an increase in the area under traditional grains and Pfumvudza.”

As part of efforts to prevent an El Nino-induced food deficit cabinet recently approved an incentive planning price of $US440 per tonne for wheat and $US360 per tonne for maize and sorghum.

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