HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's agriculture ministry says it is importing 150,000 tons of corn, the nation's staple food, from neighboring South Africa to avert a looming food crisis as millions face starvation.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Davis Marapira said Friday the government had so far received 300 tons which will be distributed to hard-hit parts of the country, state media reported.
The United Nations estimates at least 2.2 million Zimbabweans will need food assistance before the next harvest in April.
Zimbabwe only managed to produce 800,000 tons of corn last year. Annual consumption is 2.2 million tons.
Before the chaotic and often violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms in 2000, Zimbabwe was a self-sufficient regional bread basket and a major exporter of corn.