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UN Food Agencies Say Zimbabwe Makes Strides in Food Security; Some Shortfall

  • Lisa Schlein

FAO global information and early warning system team leader Liliana Balbisaid Zimbabwe has 1.66 million tons of cereals available but is likely to need 2.09 million tonnes through early next year, leaving a shortfall

A joint report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program says food security has improved in Zimbabwe - but some 1.68 million people in the country will need food aid through March 2011.

The report summarized the findings of a national crop and food security survey conducted in June. Team leader Liliana Balbi of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s global information and early warning system said Zimbabwe has only 1.66 million tons of cereals available but is likely to need 2.09 million tonnes through early next year.

That leaves a 428 thousand metric tonne shortfall, part of which will be covered by commercial imports projected to total 317,000 tonnes, the report said.

FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Operations Chief for Africa Christina Amaral said international aid and government efforts contributed to the improved food outlook in the country.

Zimbabwean agricultural policy expert Roger Mpande said the situation remains critical in some areas so a thorough overhaul of the national agricultural policy in the wake of a decade of land reform is needed.

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