Zimbabwe Food Security Outlook, December 2018 to May 2019


Economic challenges and anticipated below-average rainfall to impact poor household food access

Key Messages

  • From December 2018 through March 2019, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes are expected to prevail in typical cereal deficit areas. This will mainly be due to depleted own-produced food stocks, constrained livelihoods, as well as high food prices. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will be expected in the northern and other surplus production areas. Due to the late start of rains and planting, the 2019 harvest is likely to be delayed. As a result, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to continue into April and May in typical cereal-deficit areas.
  • Economic challenges are expected to continue during the outlook period and will have direct and indirect impacts on livelihoods and food security. Shortages of foreign currency on formal markets will remain as one of the main drivers of the parallel market for foreign currency, despite some government measures to curb it. Shortages of most basic food commodities like cooking oil, sugar, heat flour, and bread on the formal markets began in October and continue, especially in remote areas.
  • The start of the 2018-19 rainfall season has been delayed and rains have been erratic so far. This has adversely affected on-farm activities such as land preparation, planting and casual labor opportunities which are below typical levels for this time of the year. Other factors that will adversely impact crop and livestock production in 2019 include access to inputs, the presence of Fall Armyworm, other livestock and crop diseases, as well as increasing market uncertainties.