Summary of Causes, Context and Key Issues
The poor 2011/12 rainfall season significantly reduced household food production to below normal levels and limited the annual regeneration of grazing and replenishment of rivers and dams in the southern provinces. Greater than usual numbers of households are dependant on the market for their basic food needs. The food is generally available on the market but poor households are seriously constrained in accessing enough food of acceptable diversity. Access to food is further constrained by increased food(in particular staple) prices. Casual labour is the main source of income. It pays low and its availability is highly irregularity. The poor grazing in Matabeleland South is so severe that grazing animals has significantly deteriorated in both condition and value. Consequently, the livestock to maize terms of trade are highly in favour of staple cereal. The middle and better-off households in parts of Matabeleland South has started migrating northwards, earlier than normal, in search for better pastures for their animals.