Govt mobilises US$260m for food imports PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 January 2016 14:06

The Government has mobilised more than US$260 million to import food for drought-prone areas for this year up to 2017.

The Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made says they have given import permits to over 60 grain importers to import 1.2 million tonnes of maize.


Dr Made says those given permits have imported only 450 000 tonnes alleging that there were cash-flow constraints and 700 000 tonnes are still pending.

This comes on back drop of people alleging that the Minister should issue them permits to import grain.

Dr Made, who is also the Acting Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, says the weather conditions in the region are not favourable, and they are looking at importing grain from South Africa and beyond Africa.

He said despite the crop assessment, the situation looks bleak and government is looking beyond 2016-17.

Dr Made said it is government's duty to import grain with the private sector and the donor community playing a supporting role.

Acting Finance and Economic Development Minister Cde Walter Chidhakwa says the financing of grain importation is in place with US$200 million already put aside - US$50 million for vulnerable groups, while the other US$150 million is expanding to more people with food shortages.

Cde Chidhakwa says US$65 million is being mobilised from floating Agriculture Marketing Authority bonds, adding that no one will starve as indicated by the President, Cde Robert Mugabe.

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