The COVID-19 situation in the country continued to improve leading to the government relaxing most of the restrictive measures in early September enabling households to resume with their livelihood activities.
The National Climate Outlook Forum (NACOF) projected a high likelihood of normal to above normal rainfall for the country for the upcoming rainfall season with chances of heavy and violent storms, ﬂash ﬂoods, high temperatures and pockets of prolonged dry spells occurring as the season progresses.
Eﬀective rains (signalling the start of the season) for agricultural purposes are expected at the beginning of November for most of the country, while the southern part of the country is expected to receive its ﬁrst rains in December. While the occurrence of tropical cyclones is a possibility during the season, a detailed forecast will be issued in November.
Annual inﬂation for the current month was pegged at 52%, which is a marginal increase from 50.24% recorded in August 2021; while food inﬂation was estimated at 54.5% up from 50.5% in August 2021. On a month-on-month basis, price increases in ZWL terms—although marginal (4.73% from 4.18%), were the highest recorded since January 2021 and higher when compared to the price increases experienced by consumers during the same period last year (September 2020).
During the month of September, the estimated number of people with insuﬃcient food consumption increased by 100,000 from 5.6 million estimated in August 2021 to reach 5.7 million in September. The number of people employing crisis-level and above coping strategies also increased to 8.53 million people compared to 8.48 million at the end of August 2021.
Maize grain was available in a quarter of the monitored rural districts and in 6% of the monitored urban markets. Maize meal was available in 49% of rural markets and in 86% of urban markets monitored, which is a 9% increase in rural and 3% reduction in urban.
Sugar beans were available in 69% of rural markets (up from 66% in August) and in 85% of urban markets monitored, which is similar to August. Availability of vegetable oil remained high and stable with the commodity available in 99% of the rural markets and 92% of urban markets. Rice, salt and sugar were generally available in almost all monitored markets, while Kapenta was available in an average of 77% of the markets.
The average USD prices for maize grain and vegetable oil remained stable compared to August 2021, while that of rice, salt and sugar decreased by less than 5% for both rural and urban markets; the average price of maize meal price decreased by 6% and for sugar beans increased by 26%.
In ZWL terms, the price of the maize grain remained stable while that of maize meal increased marginally by 5% in rural markets and remained stable in urban markets compared to the previous month. Prices of sugar beans increased by 46% in rural markets and by 27% in urban markets; vegetable oil increased by 6% in rural markets and 13% in urban markets; rice increased 3% and 5% for rural and urban markets respectively; sugar beans by 8% for both rural and urban markets; Kapenta increased by 13% and salt by 8%.