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Over half a million people in need of food aid - FEWS NET

At least 594,500 Tanzanians will require food aid between November 2005 and January 2006, mostly in rural areas where crop production dropped, according to an assessment conducted by the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET).

The vulnerability assessment showed that most of these people are in rural areas in 34 districts across the country, FEWS NET said in a report issued on 29 September.

However, it said food security was satisfactory across the country, except in isolated rural locations where crop production during the 2004-2005 cropping season was below the 2005-2006 food requirements.

It added that in some urban areas such as Mwanza, Shinyanga, Lindi and Mtwara, access to food by poor households was limited by high food prices.

"Higher percentages of vulnerable persons per district are found in the districts of Ngorongoro and Arumeru (Arusha Region) and Meatu (Shinyanga Region)," FEWS NET said.

The agency recommended that the vulnerable persons be supplied with at least 21,000 tonnes of subsidised maize at the rate of 400g per person per day. It said the government was expected to supply this food from its Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR), which held over 100,000 tonnes as of the end of August.

FEWS NET also recommended that the government provide 1,190 tonnes of various seed types to help an some 118,900 vulnerable rural households with planting during the upcoming wet seasons; vuli in bimodal areas and msimu in unimodal areas.

Moreover, the agency reported that pasture availability was diminishing in most locations as the dry season progresses. However, it said, livestock were still healthy and at normal productivity throughout the country.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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