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Own production remains the main food source for most poor households

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Zimbabwe
  • September 2014
Own production remains the main food source for most poor households

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook Through December 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Most households across the country continue to access adequate supplies of staple food from own production and are experiencing Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1). 

    • While the Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF) released positive forecasts for  both the October to December (OND) and January to March (JFM) periods, the Zimbabwe National Climate Outlook Forum (NACOF) forecasts higher chances of normal to below-normal rainfall in the south and western parts of the country during the JFM period. 

    • Markets are fully supplied with a variety of cereals across the country, including the traditionally cereal deficit areas in the south. National average prices for   maize grain remain stable at $0.29/kg and have decreased by 11 percent compared to two year average. 


    Current Situation
    • Unlike in the previous two seasons where households would start experiencing cereal deficits in September, most households are still consuming cereals from own production and this includes poor households from the traditional cereal deficit areas of Masvingo and Matebeleland South Provinces. As a result of adequate supplies of cereals from own production, households across all wealth groups are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes.
    • National average prices for major staples remain same as last month. For maize meal, current prices are further stable against last year and two year average. However maize grain prices have decreased by 16 and 11 percent from last year and two year average, respectively. This year’s increased cereal supply in the market, particularly maize grain, and reduced household reliance on market purchases for staple food accounts for the decreasing prices against the previous two years. For maize meal, reduced demand especially in rural areas where households are consuming grain from own production has also contributed to the stability in prices.
    • Despite the current stability in staple prices countrywide, the recent Government of Zimbabwe statutory instrument regulating the grain producer prices will likely result in slight retail price increases particularly for maize meal. The government has pegged this year’s grain producer prices at $390 per ton and is 3 percent higher than last season.
    • Livestock conditions are good owing to availability of pasture and adequate water, and this is contributing to favorable terms of trade particularly in the southern and western parts of the country where livestock production is a typical income sources.
    • Some very poor households are engaging in various typical off-farm casual labor and self-employment activities including brick molding, construction work and vegetable sales resulting in increased income for other livelihood needs including education and health. 

     


    Updated Assumptions

    The assumptions used to develop the most likely scenario for the July to December 2014 Outlook period are still valid and no changes are expected on the food security outcomes. The July to December 2014 food security outlook  is available online and provides detailed information on the assumptions and projected most likely food security outcomes.  


    Projected Outlook Through December 2014

    The Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) will likely continue to be experienced from September through December as households will be accessing staple food from own production  and market purchases.  

    Average national maize grain prices are projected to be 10 percent below last year prices from October through December and stable when compared to the two year average.  This is mainly due to an increase in cereal supply from the 2013/14 agriculture season.  However, average national maize grain prices are projected to be above the five year average.  Incomes from casual labor activities, particularly on farm activities including land preparation and weeding, are expected to increase from October through December owing to the normal to above-normal rainfall conditions forecasted by the NACOF and the SARCOF.     

    Figures Seasonal Calendar

    Figure 2

    Seasonal Calendar

    Source: Fews Net

    Figure 1.  National climate outlook forum forecast: Oct – Dec

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. National climate outlook forum forecast: Oct – Dec

    Source: Zimbabwe Meteorological Service Department

    Figure 2.  National climate outlook forum forecast: Jan – Mar

    Figure 3

    Figure 2. National climate outlook forum forecast: Jan – Mar

    Source: Zimbabwe Meteorological Service Department

    Figure 4

    Source:

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography over the next six months. Learn more here.

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