Experts: Zimbabwe food reserves severely depleted

African bank experts say Zimbabwe's strategic food reserves severely depleted, run too low

Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- 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 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 corn 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 corn was written off after a prolonged dry spell and other areas reported having had too much rain.

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