S Africa to fund Zimbabwean agriculture amid fears of famine

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Flag of Zimbabwe
Flag of Zimbabwe

The South African government has agreed to give Zimbabwe R300 million (US$30 million) in agricultural input financing support for the main summer cropping season starting this month, Harare’s Ambassador to Pretoria said Friday. Simon Moyo said South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced the aid in parliament on Tuesday, following a pledge made by former South African President Thabo Mbeki last month. Although details of the financing package are still sketchy, it will likely involve South African supplies of farming inputs such as fertilizers, chemicals and seeds which are in critical short supply in Zimbabwe. “Let those in the farming sector prove their worth, for this farming season must mark the turning point in our economic strategies,” Moyo said. Zimbabwe, which is also battling unprecedented food shortages, faces the danger of lower food production next year because of lack of inputs. As a desperate measure, the government announced this week it would allow anyone with foreign currency to import farming inputs. But experts believe severe hunger in the country next year is unavoidable because all the announced input procurement schemes are late.

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