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Zimbabwe railways to bring 100,000 tons of corn from Tanzania

Zimbabwe’s state-owned railway will transport 100,000 tons of corn from Tanzania as the country seeks to overcome a severe shortage of the staple due to drought and floods from a cyclone.

“The first batch of delivery we will be bringing 17,000 tons,” National Railways of Zimbabwe spokesman Nyasha Maravanyika said by phone from Bulawayo, about 430 kilometers (267 miles) southwest of the capital, Harare.

Tanzanian Agriculture Minister Japhet Hasunga on Tuesday said talks on the sale of corn to Zimbabwe were underway and a deal was likely by the end of the month.

The southern African nation, which on Tuesday declared a state of disaster because of the lack of rain, also agreed to buy 150,000 tons of South African corn after a tender five times that size failed, according to people familiar with the situation.

The worst drought in almost 40 years has cut corn output by more than half and the country expects to import as much as 800,000 tons to feed about 5.7 million people, according to aid agencies.

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