President Robert Mugabe today launched Zimbabwe’s food and nutrition security policy calling on the international community to help fund the country’s agricultural sector to improve the food situation in the country.
Officiating at the launch of the country’s food and nutrition security plan in Harare, President Mugabe urged international development partners to support Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector to improve productivity and promote self-reliance.
Mr. Mugabe blamed climate change and sanctions imposed on him, some senior Zanu PF officials and companies by the West in 2002 for the food shortages being experienced in the country.
Several parts of the country currently do not have access to adequate food resulting in the Zambian government promising to help with 150,000 tonnes of maize.
The president said about a third of the country’s children are malnourished as a result of lack of nutritious food.
Deputy Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora said improving the food situation in the country will help save the lives of several women and children who are dying because of poor nutrition.
Vice President Joice Mujuru, who spearheaded the policy, said the 1995 drought, also had a debilitating effect on the country’s foodstocks.
But some critics blame the poor food situation on chaotic land reforms embarked on by the then Zanu PF government in 2000 that displaced hundreds of white commercial farmers and their laborers.
The policy launched today prioritizes a multi-sectoral approach to the food situation, including research, resource mobilization and the growing of indigenous crops to boost food reserves.