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‘Zimbabwe imported 350,000 tonnes of maize to end of April’

The UN Food agency also said that it had a $677 million shortfall to April next year.

FILE: WFP Zimbabwe country director Eddie Rowe said Zimbabwe needs to import 1.3 million tonnes of maize this season compared to national demand of 1.8 million tonnes. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe imported 350,000 tonnes of maize between January and the end of April to meet shortages caused by a drought, the UN World Food Programne (WFP) said on Thursday.

Briefing journalists in Johannesburg, WFP Zimbabwe country director Eddie Rowe said Zimbabwe needs to import 1.3 million tonnes of maize this season compared to national demand of 1.8 million tonnes.

The UN Food agency also said that it had a $677 million shortfall to April next year to help 32 million people in Southern Africa affected by drought.

"Household food access is worsening due to steep price increases for key staples, especially maize," the WFP said in its most recent report on the situation.

Southern Africa has been hard hit by an El Niño inspired drought that had wilted crops, slowed economic growth and driven food prices higher.

The weather woes have been largely attributed to the powerful El Nino system, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that occurs every few years with global consequences.

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