Lesotho + 5 more

SADC disaster task force holds two day meeting

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A SADC disaster task force two-day meeting was held in Swaziland this week (20-21 May 2002) with delegates seeking to find solutions to the current food crisis plaguing the region.
SADC disaster task force holds two day meeting

A SADC disaster task force two-day meeting was held in Swaziland this week (20-21 May 2002) with delegates seeking to find solutions to the current food crisis plaguing the region. Among the resolutions were:

  • to find alternative maize supplies in order to cut the expense of importing maize from Brazil and Europe
  • to try to buy supplies in bulk
  • to facilitate tax cuts for those in need of aid
  • to try to reduce air transport which escalates the cost of imported maize.
The SADC delegates also tasked its Harare-based Regional Early Warning Unit with ensuring that farmers in their countries would try drought-resistant cereal crops instead of maize.

A regional meeting will be held in South Africa next month to re-assess the region's needs.

SADC members, facing severe food insecurity for a variety of reasons including floods and inadequate rainfall, need about 3.22 million tonnes of food for millions of people, particularly in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, Grain SA has warned that the latest maize crop production figure of 8 595 million tons is "over-optimistic" and could lead to neighbours to buying a lot of maize in the open South African market and a local shortfall might follow.