Zimbabwe - Food Security and Markets Monitoring Report, January 2021


The COVID-19 situation in Zimbabwe improved significantly with new cases in January 2022 declining to 16,075 in January from 74,212 during the month of December. Of the 5,333 cumulative deaths, the highest proportion were in Harare province (33%) and the lowest were in Matabeleland North province (2%). COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed with schools set to open on 7 February, while working from the office has been retained as the default and curfew hours were also reviewed.

Normal to above-normal rainfall was received in most of Zimbabwe in January, with some areas in the eastern and northern parts of the country recording precipitation percentages in excess of 125% , particularly those impacted by cyclone Ana. The rainfall forecast for January to March 2022 predicts normal to above-normal rainfall, save for the southern parts of Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces.

The number of people who reported having insufficient food consumption has been on the decline from 6.1 million November 2021 to 5.1 million during January 2022. According to the latest IPC compatible analysis conducted by FEWSNET, most households in rural and urban areas will remain stressed (IPC Phase 2), with the caveat that areas receiving humanitarian assistance would have been at least one phase worse-off (i.e. IPC Phase 3) without current assistance.

The food poverty line was pegged at ZWL6,152.87 as of January 2022, an increase of 6.8% against December 2021 value of ZWL5,761.46. Annual headline inflation in ZWL terms remained stagnant at 61% in December 2021 and January 2022.

Maize grain availability remained low, only available in 6% of all the monitored rural and urban markets. Maize meal was available in 81% of urban markets, while in rural areas availability decreased from 58% in December to 50% in January 2022.

Sugar beans availability has generally remained stable between 60% and 90% in the past 12 months; the commodity was reported available in 66% of rural markets and in 84% of urban markets in January 2022. Availability of vegetable oil remained high and stable; the commodity was available in 97% of the rural markets and 90% of urban markets. Rice, salt and sugar remained available in almost all monitored markets, and kapenta was available in an average 59% of monitored markets - down from 71% reported in December 2021.

In USD terms, the average price of maize grain was 8% higher than the previous month; the average price of maize meal, sugar beans and vegetable oil remained stable. The price of kapenta decreased by 7% in urban markets.

In local currency (ZWL) terms, there was a general price increase for all food basket commodities during the month under review compared to the previous month by an average of 23%; when compared to the same time last year (January 2021), prices have increased by an average of 61%. The cost of other monitored food commodities including sugar, salt, kapenta and rice increased by an average of 24% compared to December 2021.