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Despite parallel market rate and price stability, households still face significant access challenges

  • Key Message Update
  • Zimbabwe
  • September 2022
Despite parallel market rate and price stability, households still face significant access challenges

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in typical deficit-producing areas in the south, east, west, and far north through the peak of the lean season in early 2023. In these areas, own-production is already depleted and above-average prices and below-average income are limiting access to markets. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to prevail in some surplus-producing areas in the Mashonaland Provinces, where households realized near-average 2022 crop production and had above-average carryover stocks from the 2021 harvests. Other typical surplus-producing areas negatively impacted by the poor progression of the 2021/22 rainfall season will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the next harvest.

    • A series of economic measures recently introduced by the government has resulted in the stabilization of parallel market foreign currency exchange rates, the main driver of spiking prices on the market. This has resulted in general price stability, and even some reductions, for certain goods and services. However, prices of most goods and services are expected to remain well above normal – therefore inaccessible for poorer households. The auction and interbank rates are expected to continue to increase and further align, reducing the gap with parallel market rates.

    • Most typical livelihood strategies and incomes – including livestock sales, remittances, cross-border trade, vegetable production, and sales – are expected to remain below normal throughout the outlook period. Petty trade and informal mining are expected to increase as coping strategies. Meanwhile, humanitarian assistance is expected to contribute to the basic food needs of some vulnerable population groups mainly in typical deficit-producing areas, especially during the peak lean season.

    • With favorable rainfall forecasts for the 2022/23 rainfall season, casual labor demand is expected to improve compared to the 2021/22 season, and improved cropping, water, pasture, and livestock conditions during the 2022-23 agricultural season are also likely. However, payment rates for causal labor and terms of trade will continue to be negatively affected by poor liquidity and below-normal 2022 harvests and crop sales for cash and in-kind payments. The government is expected to be the main source of crop inputs for most smallholder farmers as access through the markets will be constrained by low income and exorbitant prices.

    This Key Message Update provides a broad summary of FEWS NET's current and projected analysis of likely acute food insecurity outcomes in this geography. Learn more about our work here.

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