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OVER five million Zimbabweans in urban and rural communities are food insecure due to COVID-19-induced difficulties, the World Food Programme country director Francesca Alderman said yesterday.

Alderman said this during a virtual event to commemorate this year’s World Food Day, which is celebrated on October 16 every year.

This year’s celebrations were held under the theme Our Actions are Our Future-Better Production, Better Nation, a Better Environment and a Better Life.

“Over five million people in both urban and rural communities will not have enough to eat; they were already vulnerable before the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be further pushed into vulnerability if we don’t act decisively,” Alderman said.

“Communities can be productive if we enable them with the skills and resources they require to produce food. Unless we find solutions, we will not move past the cycle of interdependence. Let’s build stronger food systems through working together.”

Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka, in a speech read on his behalf, urged Zimbabweans to be resilient and pursue strong food production systems to achieve zero hunger by 2030.

“Our main thrust is the development of an efficient and sustainable agricultural sector which will see increased income. Government is working efficiently and effectively in the agricultural sector to ensure a zero hunger nation by 2030.”

Government claimed that since the inception of the pandemic, it put various programmes in place to ensure food security such as the promotion of small grains and maize production under the Presidential scheme.

“We need to work together and put to good use acquired indigenous information. Private and public partnerships must be strengthened to achieve zero hunger status. Our actions speak louder and together we can transform lives and make Zimbabwe greater,” Masuka said.

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