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Food shortage to dominate Sadc summit

Erratic rains, flooding and high temperatures have driven down maize production by 90% in some countries.

South Africa will produce a third less maize this year, forcing it to import to meet domestic needs. Picture: AFP

GABORONE - A food shortage that will see a 10th of Southern African Development Communities' (Sadc) 292 million residents in need of emergency aid is set to dominate today's opening of the regional summit in Gaborone.

Erratic rains, flooding and high temperatures have driven down maize production by as much as 90 percent in some countries.

South Africa will produce a third less maize this year, forcing it to import to meet domestic needs.

It's setting food security in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland who are traditional markets for South African corn.

President Peter Mutharika of Malawi whose country is one of the worst hit, won't be at the summit Botswana summit.

He has decided to save money after donors cut vital budgetary aid because of corruption that led to the defeat of his predecessor George Banda.