Tanzanian President John Magufuli has rallied farmers in the country to increase food production, predicting global food scarcity later in the year caused by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
He urged farmers to take advantage of the reduced production by the largest food-producing countries in the wake of health restrictions imposed across the world.
“This year there is a possibility of a severe famine in the world because many people are in lockdown because of corona, but this should not discourage us because even if they are imprisoned they still need to eat. We will grow crops that we will sell to them,” he told a gathering in the north-western town of Bukoba.
The Tanzanian president has been criticised for downplaying the pandemic in the country, he has repeatedly said the health crisis had been exaggerated and mocked those who wear masks.
In June he declared that the country was “coronavirus-free” thanks to prayers by citizens.
The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the Tanzanian government’s strategy on Covid-19.