Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Food deficit in Tanzania

James Mwakisyala in AllAfrica.com via East African Business Week: Tanzania has a food deficit of one million tonnes of cereals which must be covered quickly to avert food shortages. A total of 65 districts have been hit by drought and are experiencing serious food shortage. Food stocks in the national food reserve has dwindled to about 10 per cent of the deficit.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives, Mr Stephen Wassira, said in Dar es Salaam last week that while the country of 40 million requires about six million tonnes of cereals per year, it only had just over five million, leaving a deficit of one million to be imported.

Some 970,000 people are in dire need of food so far, but the government said it has set aside some 50,000 tonnes to be supplied soon to areas severely hit by drought. He appealed to traders to work closely with the Government to ensure that food from some areas with abundant stocks can be distributed fairly to cushion the food shortage effects as more measures are taken to import food stuffs….