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Zimbabwe food shortages could leave 1.6 million in need of aid in 2013

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An estimated 1.6 million people in the rural areas of Zimbabwe will require food aid next year, according to a food needs assessment report. (..) Sporadic rainfall, limited access to agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilisers, and inadequate farming practices are being blamed for increasing levels of vulnerability and acute food insecurity in the country, said the World Food Programme (WFP). (..) Rural people are starting to feel the effects of the drought. "Our field staff are already reporting signs of distress in rural areas, including empty granaries and farmers selling off their livestock to make ends meet," said WFP country director Felix Bamezon.