He told the National Assembly that as of May 7, this year, the National Food Reserve Agency (FNRA) had a total of 420,190.21 tonnes of maize, 5,180.271 tonnes of sorghum and 3,939.630 tonnes of rice kept in different zones.

The deputy minister said that currently regions and local councils with shortage of food were undertaking in-depth analysis to get proper statistics about the affected citizens areas so they could be assisted by the government.

He said the food situation in the country had continued to improve following good harvests and the surplus obtained in the 1013/14 season.

The deputy minister pointed out that a production analysis conducted in August, last year, revealed that there was surplus food by over 125 per cent.

According to him, it was discovered further that 23 out 25 regions in Tanzania Mainland had either surplus or satisfactory food reserves.

He pointed out, however, that a critical analysis done in January, this year, indicated that a total of 424,136 people had food shortage and needed 9,917 tonnes of food, adding that steps were being taken by the government to deal with the matter.

The deputy minister was answering a question by Masoud Abdallah Salim (Mtabile- CCM), who wanted to know the government?s stance on climate changes that were causing some regions to be affected by acute shortages of food.

He said such changes were among challenges that affected agricultural development in the country, adding that some of the effects included draught, floods, skewed disbursement of rain and eruption of diseases, leading to shortage of food in some regions.

Mr Zambi said the government was taking steps against the challenges, including conducting an analysis and encouraging farmers to cultivate draught-resistant crops and those with a short time to mature, such as sorghum and cassava.

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