The Herald (Harare)

1 June 2012

Zimbabwe: 100 000 Households to Get Food Assistance in Masvingo

AT least 100 000 households have been listed for food assistance under the Government's Grain Loan Scheme in Masvingo.

There are indications that the list may rise because most areas in the province are under severe drought. Government this year

announced the reintroduction of the scheme under which villagers receive a 50kg bag of maize per month that will be repaid after the next harvest.

The GLS has already averted sweeping hunger and starvation in some parts of Masvingo where 75 percent of the staple maize crop was written off after a prolonged dry spell in the last farming season.

Masvingo Governor and Resident Minister Titus Maluleke yesterday saidabout 93 500 households had enrolled for food assistance.

He said the Government would continue to offer food assistance to starving families in Masvingo following last year's severe drought.

"We have about 93 500 families that have already enrolled for food assistance under the Grain Loan Scheme and these families are receiving a 50kg bag of maize from government through GMB per month that will be repaid after the next harvest.

"The Grain Loan Scheme started benefitting people in Masvingo province in January this year because the province has not had good harvests over the last two seasons. The situation was worse in the last season," said Governor Maluleke.

"We expect the number of people who will require food assistance to even rise further as the year progresses because food output especially of maize was very minimal in the last farming season because of drought."

Chiredzi district has the highest number of households benefitting from the GLS with over 18 000 families getting food supplies monthly followed by Masvingo district which has slightly over 15 000 households.

Mwenezi and Chivi districts, known for their recurrent droughts due to poor rains, have the lowest number of households getting assistance with over 10 000 families on the sheme in both districts.

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