LIVINGSTONE District has received 100 metric tonnes of mealie meal from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), to prevent hunger which is threatening 2,000 households.
Acting Livingstone District Commissioner Harriet Kawina said the relief food was equivalent to 4,000 by 25 kilogram bags of mealie meal and targeted beneficiaries would mostly be those that suffered crop failure in the 2018/2019 farming season, due to drought.
Ms Kawina said that most small scale farmers on the outskirts of Livingstone recorded zero-harvests due to the prolonged dry spells that characterized the last farming season and affected households with no alternative source of income.
She said this in Livingstone on Wednesday, during an urgent District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) meeting called to plan for selection of Project Implementing Partners (PIP), for distribution of the relief food.
And Ms Kawina said mealie meal was a perishable product and needed to be distributed quickly to beneficiaries.
She directed the Ministry of Agriculture; Department of Community Development and its sister Department Social Welfare, to submit lists of potential household beneficiaries which would be assessed to avoid duplication.
Ms Kawina said households headed by persons with disabilities, small-scale farmers (solely dependent on rain fed agriculture), child and female headed households, would be among the targeted beneficiaries.
She stressed the need to prevent hunger in the tourist capital, as it could lead to malnutrition and other health conditions which would be costly for government to address in the long term.
Earlier, Ministry of Agriculture senior agricultural officer Tundu Kaonga said according to the last crop forecast conducted, maize production in Livingstone declined by 99 percent.
Mr. Kaonga said maize production in the tourist capital declined from 200 metric tonnes to almost zero in communities that rely on farming to sustain themselves.
Once selected, the Project Implementing Partner will be expected to deliver relief food to Kasiya Ward, Simoonga, Shungu and Nansanzu Ward as they are the most affected areas.-ZANIS