• Despite the relatively stable macroeconomic environment and some economic growth experienced in the last two consecutive years that ensured stable food availability, poverty levels remain relatively high and low incomes and high levels of both unemployment and underemployment continue to constrain the ability of poor households to access adequate food.
• Staple cereals and other basic food stuffs continue to be generally available throughout the country and the coming harvest will improve this situation significantly in most parts of the country with the exception of most parts of Masvingo,
Manicaland, Matabeleland South, and Midlands provinces which suffered greatly from the prolonged dry spell that affected most of the country in February and March. The lean season is likely to set in earlier than usual in these areas in the 2011/12 consumption year as the dry spell significantly reduced the potential contribution of own household production to household consumption and income. The poor households in the affected areas are currently dependent upon food aid, most of which stopped in March leaving these households to depend on their meager harvests that are likely to last for up to two months.
• The relatively stable macroeconomic situation in the country is likely to continue and some economic growth will occur in 2011. Household and market food stocks are likely to improve and the production from the 2010/11 season’s harvest is estimated to be around 1.5 million metric tons (MT), which is similar to last season’s harvest. The availability of staple cereals and other basic food stuffs is likely to remain stable in the 2011/12 consumption year.