HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Zimbabwe is permitting genetically modified (GM) corn to be imported in order to circumvent widespread food shortages and hunger, according to Time.

The country continues to face back-to-back drought, which is decreasing corn production and draining Zimbabwe’s grain stocks.

The GM corn from South Africa is being utilized to make corn meal. Time noted GM corn is not accepted in sub-Saharan Africa except for South Africa.

“Steps are being taken to ensure the grain doesn’t enter national seed stocks,” Time said.  

According to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), in 2020, more than 7.7 million people — half the population — will face food insecurity at the peak of the lean season, as poor rains and erratic weather patterns have a negative impact on crop harvests and livelihood prospects.

On Jan. 22 the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) acquired 100,000 of maize from South Africa and Brazil. The announcement comes after the government of Zimbabwe made the decision in December 2019 to allow millers and other groups to use free funds to import maize.