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Zimbabwe food reserves depleted

25 April 2013, 08:30

Harare - An independent continent-wide development bank says Zimbabwe's grain reserves are running dangerously low ahead of new but poor harvests caused by erratic rain.

The African Development Bank said on Wednesday the strategic reserves have become so depleted that commercial millers have been stopped from buying supplies from the state. It said the shortage of maize has raised prices of the staple food as 1.6 million Zimbabweans already depend on food aid.

The nation has 92 000 tons in store, the bank said in its latest economic bulletin, but imports of another 150 000 tons are needed to meet consumer demand before the new harvest lands on the market.

In one province, three-fourths of planted maize was written off after a prolonged dry spell and other areas reported having had too much rain.

- AP


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