Over 500 000 people, or at least six percent of Zimbabwe’s rural population, will require food assistance between January and March next year, despite the country achieving its highest maize yield in five years, a report jointly authored by government has shown.
Zimbabwe claimed food self-sufficiency last month after maize output reached 1.456 million tonnes, 82 percent more than the 798 600 tonnes in the 2012/2013 season.
Total cereal production for the 2013/4 season, including small grains, is estimated at 1.7 million metric tonnes, about 85 percent higher than the prior year and the highest in five seasons.
Zimbabwe requires 1.430 million tonnes of cereals annually and recorded a surplus for the first time since the turn of the millennium.
However, a Rural Livelihoods Assessment report prepared by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Committee (ZimVac) noted that 565 000 people will require food assistance before next season’s harvest.
However the estimated figure is down 76 percent on the 2.2 million people who required food.
“Matabeleland North (nine percent), Matabeleland South (8.3 percent) and Mashonaland West (7.7 percent) are projected to have the highest proportions of food insecure households. These proportions are higher compared to the national average,” read the report, which was released last week.
Manicaland and Masvingo provinces were projected to have the least proportions of food insecure.
ZimVac is coordinated by the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) and the Food and Nutrition Council.
The committee consists of experts from various ministries, USAID, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation, ZimStat, FewsNet among others.- The Source