March 29, 2019 / 9:30 AM / in a year

Zimbabwe has up to seven months supply of maize, after drought damage -official

Aid workers offload maize meal for victims of Cyclone Idai at Siverstream Estates in Chipinge, Zimbabwe March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has up to seven months supply of maize after drought ravaged crops and it needs to start importing grain now to avert shortages, the secretary for agriculture said on Friday.

Besides the El Niño-induced drought, Zimbabwe was also hit by a cyclone, which devastated the eastern parts of the country, sweeping away what remained of the crop in the area.

Zimbabwe’s annual maize consumption is 1.2 million tonnes and the country has 500,000 tonnes in strategic reserves.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Susan Fenton

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