‘Food deficit still lurks in Zim despite heavy rains’

Source: ‘Food deficit still lurks in Zim despite heavy rains’ | Newsday (News)

BY LORRAINE MUROMO

THE Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet) yesterday said Zimbabwe’s anticipated above average 2021 harvest will significantly improve the country’s food security, but warned that some areas particularly in the southern region would still experience hunger due to the incessant rains which caused leaving.

Last year, more than half the country’s  population was  food insecure.

In a statement, Fewsnet said: “While cropping conditions across the country are generally fair to good, persistent heavy rainfall has negatively impacted crops in some southern, eastern and central areas where heavy leaching, waterlogging and weed pressure amid fertiliser shortages will likely somewhat reduce yields. Despite this, above-average national 2021 production is expected.’’

The organisation said most people were still vulnerable as macroeconomic conditions remained poor, characterised by an annual inflation rate in triple digits, high parallel market exchange rates and increasing basic food and non-food price hikes.

It said local currency shortages amid extensive damage to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure will also impact on access to food in some areas, as well as markets, further increasing prices.

“While many households are currently market reliant, especially in urban areas, food access for many poor households is also being impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, constraining income-earning activities, mainly in the informal sector, driving below-average purchasing power,” it said.

“Poor households are likely to continue to have difficulty meeting their non-food needs due to lower than average purchasing power.”

Zimbabwe has for years been supplementing its maize deficits through imports particularly from South Africa and Zambia.

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