BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
OVER four million Zimbabweans will require food assistance following the poor harvests, Parliament heard yesterday.
This came to light when officials from the Agriculture and Social Welfare ministries appeared before the thematic committee on peace and security.
The ministries respectively gave oral evidence on measures being undertaken to mitigate impacts of the drought induced hunger.
“We are aware that some parts of the country were hit by drought. “We are currently covering 4 million people and we requested the Ministry of Agriculture to continue availing grains till June 2021,” said Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare secretary Simon Masanga.
“In the past we were giving 50 kilograms per household and we have moved to 10kgs per person. We also look after 15 000 refugees at Tongogara Refugees camp.
“We are, however, having transport challenges. It is a huge cost to move grain. Without a budget from the treasury, we may have challenges in moving the grain. Another challenge is that fuel has gone up.”
Chief director Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services in the Agriculture Ministry Obert Jiri described the 2012/2022 season as “a hard one.”
“We have to activate importation of 300 000 metric tonnes. That will go a long way in alleviating what may come and government must avail funding to move grain from surplus areas to deficit areas,” Jiri said.