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Zimbabwe's Maize Crop Closely Watched in Hopes of End to Hunger Season

Agriculture experts at the Netherlands-based Early Agglomeration Recognition System said Zimbabwe's 2009 maize crop will come in 4% short of last year due to uneven rainfall, but a Zimbabwean agronomist said the harvest now beginning could surprise on the upside.

Agricultural scientist Thomas Nherera said maize crops have been better in some areas than in others depending on rainfall and the availability of key inputs like fertilizer.

National Director Forbes Matonga of Christian Care, a partner of the United Nations World Food Program, said that with the arrival of the harvest his organization has suspended aid to the general population while it assesses crops and general food availability.

But he said Christian Care continues to provide food to vulnerable populations, such as people living with HIV/AIDS and households led by children.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...