The World Food Program says it is seeking $ 65 million to reduce food security in Zimbabwe. The UN agency says its estimate shows that more than 5 million people in the South African country will face food shortages in the coming months.
Belinda Popovska, spokeswoman for WFP in Zimbabwe, told VOA on Monday that the UN agency has begun seeking funds to import food for those in need.
“The latest 2021 report from the Zimbabwe Rural Vulnerability Assessment Committee indicates that 2.9 million people in rural areas – 27% of rural households – are still food insecure during the peak poor harvest season from January to March 2022. In urban areas – up to 2.4 million people. According to the latest urban living standards assessment, conducted in 2021, people are expected to be food insecure, ”said Popovska.
The government says Zimbabwe has experienced a bumper crop this year, but food shortages in rural areas indicate that the harvest has actually been disappointing.
Information Minister Monika Mutswangwa says chronic food shortages in Zimbabwe will end with increased production on farms in the upcoming 2021/2022 season, which is expected to start at any time.
She says the government will make sure that farmers have the materials and money they need to meet national needs for both human consumption and industrial use.
“The strategy will lead to an increase in crop production, as evidenced by the proposed increase in the following crops: corn, sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, soybeans and tobacco. Funding for spring agriculture and animal husbandry will be carried out at the expense of the private and public sector, as well as development partners, ”said Mutswangwa.
Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of the region, has faced food shortages for years, forcing it to rely on humanitarian organizations like World Vision, USAID and WFP to feed its people.
The government blames recurring droughts for the problems, but its critics point to a chaotic land reform program that began in 2000 and displaced experienced white farmers from their lands.