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By Staff Reporter

ZAMBIA has exported 100 tons of corn to its food-starved neighbour, Zimbabwe, worth $24.8m, it has been revealed.

Ben Kapita, Zambia's Agriculture Minister said the sale was aimed at helping Zimbabwe, once southern Africa's breadbasket, but now critically short of food including maize, the national staple.

Kapita said: "About 100 metric tons of maize has been sold to Zimbabwe. Sixteen billion kwacha has been paid while the remaining amount will be paid soon."

UN aid agencies say at least 1,4 million Zimbabweans will be in need of food aid by the end of the year.

Zimbabwe had had a consistent food deficit since its controversial land reforms of 2000, which led to a slide in agricultural output. It imported both wheat and maize.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government introduced price controls four years ago to fight a burgeoning black market in staples such as cornmeal, cooking oil and bread in the wake of an economic meltdown. - AFP
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