Dar es Salaam — The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) secretariat yesterday urged member states to devise better strategies in tackling food security in the region.
Domingos Gove, the secretariat's director of food, agriculture and natural resources, said during the last crop season, it was only South Africa and Zambia in the 16-nation bloc that had enough food.
The rest registered food deficits, largely due to poor rains and cyclones that hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar and Comoro.
"The rainfall situation for agriculture has been bad for the entire region, the lowest to be registered for the last 15 years in the crop season," said Mr Gove.
He was speaking ahead of the 39th Heads of State and Government Ordinary Summit slated for August 17 and 18 in Dar es Salaam.
"If you look into the food balance sheets produced by each of the member states, the balance in South Africa and Zambia is too small to supply all the countries that are in deficit," said Mr Gove.
President Magufuli orders free treatment as nation pulls together
Education, greater vigilance needed to curb tanker disasters
Respiratory complications: The battle ahead for survivors of fire
Tanzania government picks team to investigate response to tanker explosion
The situation in Zambia itself is far from satisfactory.
A Sadc report last month forecast 2.3 million Zambians will be food insecure by March, after large parts of the southern and western areas of the country received the lowest rainfall since at least 1981.