Zimbabwe requires 46 000 tonnes of grain a month to feed those without food


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Zimbabwe will be issuing 7.5 kg of grain a month to each of the six million people that are in need of food in the rural areas, making a total of 46 000 tonnes, Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka told Parliament yesterday. 

But because of transport and logistical problems, Masuka said the government will be  issuing the people enough grain for three months at a time resulting in each person getting 22.5kg, or 138 000 tonnes.

A further 1.7 million people in urban areas will require food aid but the government will be giving these people cash and not grain. It will, however, make sure that the price of maize remains around US$6.50 for a 10kg bag.

Q & A:

HON. S. MOYO: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  The Cabinet yesterday announced that 1.7 billion urban Zimbabweans are food insecure because of the drought.  What is Government policy towards the feeding of urban people, taking cognisant that Government previously prioritised the rural folks only – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member did you say 1.7 billion?

HON. S. MOYO: 1.7 million.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Million, alright.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker. In Cabinet, Hon. Minister Masuka and Hon. Moyo are tasked to steer that programme.  With your permission, I would request Hon. Minister Masuka to answer that as he is fully involved in the issue and he is the one who issued the statement yesterday. 

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA):  The context is that we now have the second round of crops, livestock and fisheries assessment issued on the 18th of April. We have completed the household-based village coordinated rapid vulnerability assessment conducted by the ministries of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development. Those two have indicated that six million rural people out of 9.2 million will require food assistance from now till March 2025. 

The urban livelihood assessment has also just been completed by the Food and Nutrition Council and in it, 1.732 million urban people will require food assistance.  The Government has indicated that both the rural people and the urban people that are vulnerable will be assisted.  That assistance will be in the following manner; for rural people, from now until September/October, the distribution will be 7.5 kg of cereal which might be wheat, maize or traditional grain per person per month.  That will amount to 46 000 metric tonnes on a monthly basis.  In the three month, 138 000 metric tonnes will be required but because of the logistical hurdles, instead of going around the country every month, an individual will receive three months supply at any given time – that will be 22.5 kgs of cereal for the rural households for the six million people that will require assistance. 

For urban households, a cash transfer system will be operational and modalities will be announced by Minister July Moyo.  The expectation is that the private sector has been allowed to import and they will see and perceive business in this drought year and will be able to import, mill and sell appropriately priced mealie-meal to urban households.  These 1.732 million people will then be given cash and will be able to access that mealie-meal. 

However, to ensure that there is stability in terms of prices, we have an indicative price that if a 10 kg bag of roller-meal goes above USD 6.5, the Government will try and intervene using its own institutions to ensure that there is stability.

(80 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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