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East Africa Food Scheme Aims to Stop the Rot, Boost Trade

The huge stock of maize Jumanne Masele put aside last year was enough to spare his family from hunger and earn him cash to repay his debts - or so he thought.

A short while after Masele had finished stuffing the grain into a traditional storage cocoon, he realized much of it had been infested by fungus as ground moisture from heavy rain seeped in through the bottom of his store made of dried soil, sticks and grass.

“There was nothing I could do to salvage my grains - it was a total loss,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Despite a bumper harvest, the farmer, 44, from Mbumi village in the east Tanzania district of Kilosa lost most of his crops, threatening his family’s food supply.

Wee Keat Chin

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