The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority is to transport 7,000 tons of corn from Tanzania to Zimbabwe as the southern African nation faces a deficit after a severe drought.
“The next batch of 83,000 tons is still in discussion, however we have in the meantime received an order to move 7,000 tons,” Tazara Managing Director Bruno Ching’andu said in an emailed response to questions.
Tanzania sold 17,000 tons of corn to Zimbabwe in September. The shipment was handled jointly by Tazara, Zambia Railways Ltd. and the National Railways of Zimbabwe, and was done ahead of schedule. “The exercise, which was meant to take three months, took just over two months to complete,” Ching’andu said.
Zimbabwe faces a corn shortage of 800,000 tons after a drought caused yields to plunge by 54%, according to the agriculture ministry. Aid agencies estimate that half of the population is in need of food assistance.