Very poor harvests expected in parts of Zim – US agency

2015-04-02 12:41

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Harare - Parts of Zimbabwe are expected to reap one of their worst harvests in five years because of poor rains, the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) said on Thursday.

Households in some areas of Matabeleland North, Midlands and Manicaland provinces are already finding it hard to buy basics like sugar and tea, FEWSNET said in its latest update.

Prices for maize grain went up 45% in the south of Zimbabwe between February and March because of low market supply.

Food shortages have been less acute in Zimbabwe in the last few years, following repeated shortages linked to drought and a controversial land reform programme launched by President Robert Mugabe in 2000.

"Prolonged dry spells and erratic seasonal rainfall in the southern parts of the country, including Matebeleland North, and parts of Midlands and Manicaland Provinces resulted in severe crop wilting and loss," said the report.

"The main harvest in these areas is expected to be one of the worst in the past five years," it added.

Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa promised last month that Zimbabwe would import grain and said that no-one would starve.

News of the crop failures comes as Zimbabwe slips back into economic crisis, with mounting job losses and company shutdowns.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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