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China hands over 15,000 tons of wheat and rice to Zimbabwe drought victims

(Xinhua)

09:49, March 02, 2012

HARARE, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Thursday handed over 15,000 tons of wheat and rice to Zimbabwe's drought victims to alleviate hunger at the Grain Marketing Board Cleveland Depot in Harare.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, J. M. Made, Minister of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development of Zimbabwe, said the donation could not have come at a better time considering the fact that some parts of the country are facing food shortages.

"Indeed, the donation will go a long way in alleviating hunger among the needy communities especially those that have been affected by erratic rainfall patterns that have characterized our agriculture over the past two seasons," he said.

He said the Chinese government has done a lot in terms of assisting the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe, as illustrated by the establishment of the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center at Gwebi Agricultural college, dispatching of a team of 10 Chinese experts to Zimbabwe, providing training opportunities for staff of Zimbabwean agricultural sector, and offering credit facilities to support the mechanization program through the provision of tractors, implements and combines.

Made said Zimbabwe has the potential to produce enough cereals to feed its population but the country's production capacity has been severely affected by economic sanctions imposed by the western countries.

Made and Zhao Yong, councillor from the Chinese Embassy in Harare, signed the donation document on behalf of the governments of the two countries.

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