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LUSAKA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — The Zambian government has formed a task force to tackle the rising food prices.

    The task force will come up with a national action plan and bring out interventions needed in the short, medium and long-term, the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) reported on Thursday.

    The task force will be chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Chief Government spokesperson, Gen Shikapwasha, said was quoted as saying that the government had taken note of the concerns expressed by various people and organizations about the state of food security in the country and how this had impacted the prices of meal and its availability.

    Shikapwasha, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said the government was aware that a number of districts were facing food insecurity arising from a number of factors.

    These factors include the general rise in food prices, effects of the failure of the global economic systems, irresponsible sale of maize in some communities and households and the floods in last rainy season.

    Shikapwasha said the government was taking appropriate interventions to prevent people in any part of the country from starving. It has estimated the shortfall at 100,000 tons.

    “The government is currently assessing the level of food insecurity in parts of the country that experienced floods or poor rainfall and is moving maize from surplus to deficit areas,” the official said, adding that there would be a need to import the shortfall to last until May next year when the nation would rely on its own produce.

    He said the government would continue providing relief food to people in areas that experienced food shortages because of floods. This would be one of the main activities within the rehabilitation program.

    The government had so far distributed 5,714 tons of maize out of which 3,254 tons had gone to Southern Province which was the most affected by the floods, he said.

Editor: Deng shasha