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Midlands’ food security dire – Minister

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CommuTalk Reporter

GWERU – The Midlands Province is in dire need for food following successive droughts that have seen many households depending on food aid to get a meal.

Speaking on the need for government to consider giving more grain to the Province, Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Senator Larry Mavhima said the Province is facing a grain deficit of 34 000 tonnes.

“The Province requires 157 261 metric tonnes whereas it is producing 123 162 metric tonnes thereby giving us 34 000 metric tonnes deficit. The food security situation is made worse by the fact that our major partners as World Food Program (WFP) have currently halted aid programs as they are making operational reviews and we remain confident that things will get well again soon,” Senator Mavhima said.

As of mid August 2012, the whole Province had received 202.5 tonnes of grain with Mvuma, Shurugwi and Mberengwa receiving 174, 1 and 27.5 tonnes resepectively through social welfare.

Cumulative figures however show that during the same period social welfare had given Gokwe North (2 290t), Gokwe South (5 459t), Gweru (1 809t), Kwekwe (3 994t), Mvuma (3 789t), Shurugwi (2 931t), Zvishavane (3 503t) and Mberengwa (3 994t) since January.

“We have a serious shortage of grain and the shortage comes at a time government has an obligation to be feeding 176 290 households across the province. Please note these are households not head a headcount.

“Livestock has also been affected as dams have dried up and in need of scooping in order for them to hold water during the rainy season. We also appeal to government that we get supplementary feeds for livestock,” added Senator Mavhima.

The Minister is also confident that if the Pfumvudza program is further expanded, food security situation would improve.

“The Pfumvudza program has to date registered and trained 92 954 famers. Everyone is however encouraged to participate because if this number is doubled food security at household level would be improved,” he further said.

Midlands province has an approximate total population of 1 301 000 people.

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