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Zambia experiencing deficit of two million metric tonnes of food, government says


Zambia is in a an acute food deficit of over two million metric tonnes, according to Agriculture Minister, Mtolo Phiri, in an official announcement.

This is as the shortfall in maize accounts for over 1.3 million metric tonnes.

Phiri said this at the announcement of the crop forecasting survey results of the 2023/2024 agriculture season.

He pointed out that Zambia was in an over two million metric tonnes food deficit.

The Minister attributed the deficit to the drought that had so far hit six of the country’s 10 provinces.

Read more: Food Reserve Agency initiates purchase of white maize from small-scale farmers nationwide

“The country had recorded a deficit of 1,323,288 metric tons of maize, 548,644 metric tons of cassava, 55,138 metric tons of paddy rice and 225,296 metric tons of wheat,” Phiri said.

He also said Zambia had seen a reduction in maize production from more than three million metric tonne that was recorded in the 2022/2023 farming season to 1.5 metric tons in the last farming season.

He added that the production of soya beans had reduced to 169,700, from 760,067 metric tons recorded in 2023.

“To mitigate the food deficit, government has facilitated the importation of more than 600,000 metric tons of white non GMO maize to provide relief and support to drought affected households in the six provinces hit by the drought,” Phiri said.

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