HARARE, June 22 (The Source) – Zimbabwe says it plans to import 250,000 tonnes of maize from the south American country of Mexico to fill a shortfall caused by a severe drought that has left about four million people in the country needing food aid.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said on Thursday that Zimbabwe will also import maize from neighbouring South Africa and Zambia, as well as from Ukraine, but did not give figures.
“The bulk of the maize will be coming from Mexico and Zambia,” Made told reporters in Harare.
“The maize is in two parts in terms of importation, that is from government and from the private sector. We anticipate that upwards of 250,000 tonnes will be coming from Mexico and the balance will obviously be coming from Zambia as well as from South Africa and Ukraine,” said Made.
Previously, officials have previously said the imported maize will be in the country by September this year.
A regional drought worsened by the El Niño weather phenomenon has left up to 36 million people across the region in need of food aid.
In February, Zimbabwe declared a state of disaster in rural areas hit by a severe drought and appealed to local businesses and charities for $1,5 billion in aid.