The government has been urged to take necessary measures to reduce the country’s dependence on imported food, particularly maize and to support wheat growing to diversify the diet by the United Nations(UN).

UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, who has been in the country to assess the food situation has urged the government to promote the production of traditional grains as a way of ensuring food security in the country.

“I strongly urge the government to take the necessary measures to reduce the country’s dependence on imported food, particularly maize, and to support alternatives to diversify the diet. They should create the conditions for the production of traditional seeds to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency and preparedness for the climate shocks,” said Elver while addressing journalists in Harare at the end of her tour.

She noted that a staggering 5.5 million people in Zimbabwe are facing food insecurity as a result of the Elnino induced drought which hit he country in the past agricultural season.

Elver was on a 10 day tour in the country to assess the food situation.