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HomeAgricultureUS $2b needed to curb drought disaster

US $2b needed to curb drought disaster

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

US $2b needed to curb drought disaster

By Nomagugu Konke

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a nationwide State of Disaster due to the Elniño induced drought; Zambia and Malawi have also recently declared states of disaster due to the drought.

Most Provinces in Zimbabwe have faced a dry spell since November last year.

Addressing the media this week, President Mnangagwa said the country needs US$2 billion to tackle the hunger caused by low rainfall which has dried out most of the 2023/2024 summer crops.

“The current Agricultural season of 2023 to 2024 has not performed according to expectations due to the Elniño induced drought.

“As a result, more than 80 percent of our country received below-normal rainfall. The country had put a total of 1 728 897 hectares under maize crop and other cereals.

“This would have guaranteed a bountiful harvest. Further worsening the situation characterized by poor rainfall was the outbreak of Fall Army Worm across the country,” he said.

President Mnangagwa also said the winter crop programme for 2024 now assumes added importance and urgency.

“The shift to wheat-based food security means the land we put under wheat from this month must expand to cover all available irrigable land with secure which secure water sources.

“Winter maize projects in areas such as Chiredzi, Muzarabani, and Binga must be reactivated towards drought mitigation,” said President Mnangagwa.

He also said due to the poor rainfall, the country’s hydro power generation capacity has drastically reduced causing increased reliance on thermal and solar power.

He appealed to the United Nations agencies and faith organizations for assistance.

“By this declaration, i also call upon Zimbabweans of goodwill, including those in the diaspora, the international community, United Nations Agencies, Development and Humanitarians partners, International Financial Institutions, the private sector, churches, and other faith-based organizations as well as individuals to generously donate towards ameliorating this state of Nation disaster, ” said the President.

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