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Zim faces serious food shortages 

Zim faces serious food shortages


In the wake of growing concerns over the devastating effects of the El Nino phenomenon, the government has launched a comprehensive strategy to combat the imminent threat of drought and secure food supplies across the nation. As crop conditions teeter between fair and dire, a beacon of hope emerges through a series of sustainable interventions aimed at climate-proofing the agriculture sector.

During a pivotal meeting held at a leisure resort 60 kilometers from Beitbridge in Matabeleland South Province, Dr. Anxious Masuka, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development, reassured citizens that the nation’s food security remains a top priority. The assembly, which included Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, focused on crafting actionable strategies to mitigate the adverse impacts of the current El Nino-induced drought.

Despite the harsh reality of delayed rains and stressed crops, the government remains optimistic. A key aspect of their strategy involves enhancing the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)’s strategic grain reserve to 1.5m tonnes. This move, coupled with diversifying grain procurement sources beyond the GMB, aims to ensure a steady supply of essential food staples.

The Minister highlighted the pivotal role of constructing additional dams and expanding the area under summer irrigation as central to the country’s food security measures. With plans to increase summer irrigation areas to 350,000 hectares, the government is on a mission to produce the 1.8 million metric tonnes of food required annually for human consumption.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is set to bolster rural food security through training programs and the Pfumvudza/Intwasa initiative. This approach not only aims to empower rural households but also to distribute 71,000 tonnes of food aid to those in need.

However, the government’s efforts extend beyond immediate agricultural interventions. An inter-ministerial committee, led by Dr. Masuka, has been established to address the issue of illegal land settlements, underscoring the administration’s comprehensive approach to safeguarding the nation’s land resources and ensuring sustainable development.

As the country braces for the challenges ahead, the government’s multi-faceted strategy offers a glimmer of hope. By climate-proofing the agriculture sector, enhancing irrigation infrastructure, and providing targeted support to vulnerable communities, the nation is charting a resilient path forward in the face of climate change. This concerted effort not only aims to secure the nation’s food supply but also to foster a sustainable future for generations to come.

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