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updated: 3/3/2014 6:35 AM

More than 300,000 face famine in Mozambique

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Associated Press

MAPUTO, Mozambique -- Mozambique agriculture minister Jose Pacheco says that more than 300,000 people in the southern African state face famine this year.

Speaking on state radio on Sunday, Pacheco said the famine, which affects mainly the central and southern regions of Mozambique, has been caused by various factors, including drought, flooding and insect plagues.

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Crops are also being destroyed by wild animals, such as elephants and hippos.

Pacheco said the government is developing mechanisms to help peasant farmers produce more food. These include arranging financial packages to enable farmers to buy fertilizers and agricultural implements and to help them irrigate their fields.

The government has also secured $100 million from Brazil for agricultural machinery to boost agriculture in the country.

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