Story by Kenias Chivuzhe, Manicaland Bureau
The government is walking the talk in providing food relief to vulnerable households, with at least half a million people from Manicaland province benefiting under the Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy.
At the core of Vision 2030 is the issue of inclusive development with the Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy among top government priorities to ensure national food security.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on record saying no one will die of hunger hence close to three million people are benefiting under the government food relief programme with over half a million beneficiaries coming from Manicaland province.
The ZBC News crew visited some food relief distribution points in Marange where beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the government for the kind gesture.
One of the beneficiaries said, “We appreciate the assistance we are getting from our government. We are receiving food relief as per the government’s promise. This is over and above the agriculture inputs that we got at the beginning of the farming season.”
Another beneficiary noted, “Government supported us by giving agriculture inputs but we were affected by drought due to prolonged dry spells. For the past four months, we were being given food relief and that helped to ensure our families survive.”
“Zonwe area was affected by drought. We are looking forward to the government to continue assisting us to pull through the difficult situation. We are grateful that the assistance has been coming for some time now,” testified another beneficiary.
The support is expected to continue until the end of the summer cropping season harvest.
Mutanda 1 Ward Two Councillor Dadirai Maviza said, “Social welfare is greatly assisting us after our area was affected by drought. We are looking forward to other farmers harvesting their crops as some expect average yields. We look forward to the programme continuing until farmers harvest their fields.”
Manicaland Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Edgers Seenza revealed that close to 6 000 metric tonnes of maize is being distributed every month in the province.
“We want to thank the president who is fulfilling his promise to ensure no one starves or dies of hunger in the country. We were giving food relief support covering 3 districts last year with the programme being extended to all districts in the province starting this year,” he said.
He went on to say, “581 233 people are benefiting. Every person is given ten kgs, hence we are distributing 58 012 metric tonnes per month.”
He thanked the government for availing meal mealie to distressed families and those affected by disasters under another support programme.
Government’s long-term plan is to ensure national food security through climate-smart agriculture and revitalising irrigation schemes across the country.