'Zim food shortage set to reach crisis levels'

Large areas in Zimbabwe experienced crop failure as a result of poor rains this year.

FILE: The state-run 'Herald' is reporting that the country needs to import at least 700,000 tonnes of maize between now and the next harvest early next year to avert a food crisis. Picture: AFP.

HARARE - An aid agency is predicting that food shortages in some parts of Zimbabwe will deteriorate to crisis levels in two months' time.

Large areas in southern and western Zimbabwe experienced crop failure as a result of poor rains this year, and already many households are stressed from a lack of food supplies.

In its latest food security report, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network says rural households in southern Zimbabwe produced almost no crops this year.

A statement says these households are currently in trouble because they now need to purchase basic food supplies on the open market.

It says that without food aid, the situation could worsen significantly by July, and reach emergency levels by October.

The state-run Herald is reporting that the country needs to import at least 700,000 tonnes of maize between now and the next harvest early next year to avert a food crisis.