Zimbabwe harvests 1/3 of wheat it needs, gov't blames power outages

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October 1, 2007 02:10

 
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Zimbabwe harvested only one-third of the wheat it needs this year - a drastic shortfall the government blamed on constant power outages, official media reported. Stores throughout the impoverished country - once considered the breadbasket of Africa - were telling customers that bread would not be available until further notice. Most bakeries closed last week as flour deliveries ceased, worsening the situation for a nation already struggling with severe shortages of gasoline and food supplies, including its staple diet item of corn. The government said Tuesday it would import 100,000 tons of wheat to supplement this year's yield of 145,000 tons - well short of the government's 375,000-ton target. The first 35,000 tons of the imported wheat were delayed, however, at the Mozambique port of Beira as authorities sought hard currency to pay for it.

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