We Can’t Watch Our People Starving: Tsvangirai

“Most of the country’s provinces especially Midlands, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South, Masvingo and some parts of Manicaland are facing serious food shortages and to avert this hunger, my government will soon start importing maize from Zambia.

“We can’t just sit and watch whilst our people are starving. As government we have to make sure that every family gets enough food,” Tsvangirai told Radio VOP yesterday (Saturday) after touring government projects in the Midlands Province.

Statistics from the World Food Program (WFP) indicated that more than one million Zimbabweans are currently in need of food aid following the continuous dry spell that has been affecting the national produce.

The crop assessment by the government, this past farming season has shown that 1500 000 hectares of the maize crop was planted but because of lack of rain, half of it has been a write off.

This leaves the country with only less than one million hectares of the planted maize crop against the national grain requirement stands at two million tonnes of maize per annum.

Zimbabwe has struggled to feed itself since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe began a drive to seize white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks, leading to a sharp fall in agricultural output.

Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, has since Mugabe’s land reforms largely survived on handouts from international food relief agencies.

Mugabe  insists his land reforms were necessary to correct an unjust land tenure system that reserved all the best farmland for whites while blacks were cramped on poor soils, had in the past maintained that his country’s food problems were mainly because of poor weather.