China rescues thousands from hunger

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THE CHINESE government has assisted 145 000 people in the country with food aid as efforts to minimise the effects of drought, the World Food Programme (WFP) Zimbabwe confirmed.

The Chinese aid comes at a time when most of the attention is being given to the coronavirus (Covid-19) which has killed thousands of people across the globe.

“Severe drought and economic instability have hit Zimbabwe hard, driving 7,7 million people into hunger. A timely contribution from China towards WFP lean season assistance provided rice, beans and vegetable oil. Thanks to the people of China, 145 000 people do not go to bed hungry,” WFP said in a statement on Monday.

Zimbabwe is reeling from the effects of El Nino-induced drought which has killed thousands of wild and domestic animals as well as greatly affected the crop outlook.

To alleviate the situation, the government and development partners have encouraged farmers to use sustainable methods of farming.

“What I saw in Wedza and Chivhu was not encouraging at all. The crops failed to respond to the rains received so far.

“The situation is devastating and chances for a good harvest there are almost close to zero,” Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri said recently.

“We are having frequent dry spells due to climate change variability. We encourage our farmers to plant different types of crops and at different stages. If one crop fails, farmers will have something to harvest.

“Cowpeas, Rapoko, maize, groundnuts are among crops that every farmer must plant. We have our Matopos institution which is developing seed for traditional grain to increase yields. If farmers implement all the strategies, no one will die of hunger,” he said.

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