March 2, 2017 / 9:34 AM / 3 years ago

Zimbabwe sets aside $140 mln to buy maize for strategic reserve

Subsistence farmer Charles Chakabawo harvests maize with his family on their plot in Norton, a farming area outside Zimbabwe's capital Harare, May 10, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo.

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe, which is recovering from drought and battling a pest outbreak that threatens its staple maize crop, has budgeted $140 million to buy the grain from farmers for its strategic reserve, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told parliament on Thursday.

Harare is holding 250,000 tonnes of maize in strategic reserves, half of its optimal requirements, the agriculture minister said.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia

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