Zimbabwe needs 1.1 mln tons of grain for drought relief

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Zimbabwe needs to import about 1.1 million tons of grain to cater for food-insecure people until March next year, following an El Nino-induced drought that also affected other countries in southern Africa, a government minister said Tuesday.

According to the latest assessment report, Zimbabwe has a shortfall of 1,108,425 tons of grain at a consumption level of 10 kg per person per month, Jenfan Muswere, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, said during a media briefing after a cabinet meeting.

The shortfall can be met mostly by the private sector, which has the capacity to import 1 million tons between April 2024 and March 2025, he said.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a state of disaster, saying the country requires over 2 billion U.S. dollars to respond to the drought, after cereal harvests declined to about 868,273 tons from 2.3 million tons last year. Zimbabwe needs 2.2 million tons of cereal annually for both human and livestock consumption.