The World Food Program says it will feed about 1 million Zimbabweans faced with hunger due to dry weather conditions in the south-western parts of the country where crops have largely become a write-off due to inadequate rains.
WFP deputy country director Simon Camelbeeck cautioned though that the food program, set to run through March and already benefiting at least 150,000 people nationwide, may be hampered by a funding gap of $12 million.
Camelbeeck said the beneficiaries are currently receiving a food basket which includes maize meal, cooking oil and beans.
Crops in regions such as Matabeleland South, parts of Manicaland, Masvingo and Midlands have not recorded significant rains since last December due to the ripple effects of tropical cyclone Funso which has been dumping heavy rains in Mozambique and Swaziland.
Camelbeeck said indigenous farmers should be encouraged to plant small-grain crops in order to tackle perennial droughts. Aid relief worker Everson Ndlovu urged drought-prone regions to venture into cattle ranching.