FOOD SHORTAGES

Mwananchi has reported that the Government has put in place strategies to fight hunger now facing half of the country. State Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy Development) William Lukuvi, said the Government had rushed 7,215 tons of food aid to 16-mainland districts worst hit by hunger. He said transportation money had also been provided so that the food aid could be transported from warehouses in the south of the country to hunger stricken districts. The long drought and floods in recent years plus the effects of the Aids pandemic have reduced food production in Tanzania, including maize, the staple food. The worst affected regions are the centre and north. The World Food Programme is planning to provide 45,000 tons of food aid over the six-month period starting in December. The United States has agreed to provide 15,000 Tones of maize. Minister for Water and Livestock Development, Edward Lowasa, has told the 32nd Session of the FAO Conference in Rome in December that Tanzania is facing a slow-down in economic growth prompted by two consecutive years of rain deficiency. “We are keeping our fingers crossed that seasonal rains will be normal, otherwise we will have a second year of food deficits which will exert pressure on the government budget and lead to a slow-down in economic growth.”

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