Over half of Zimbabwe’s people are likely to need food aid, the country’s cabinet has heard.

This comes as Zimbabwe is reeling under drought and crop failure, following the El Niño phenomenon. Neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Malawi face similar problems.

A cabinet brief foresees significant production deficits: ‘A 77% reduction in production to 744,271 metric tonnes is estimated for the 2023/2024 summer season, indicating a major shortfall for both food and stock feed.’

Private suppliers have announced plans to import some 1.4 million tonnes of maize. The government and United Nations agencies have appealed for food assistance.