Zimbabwe Food Security Outlook, February to September 2021


The anticipated above-average 2021 harvest to significantly improve access to food


  • Favorable rainfall for the 2020/21 season facilitated above-average area planted and significant improvements in water, pasture, and livestock conditions. While cropping conditions across the country are generally fair to good, persistent heavy rainfall has negatively impacted crops in some southern, eastern, and central areas where heavy leaching, waterlogging, and weed pressure amidst fertilizer shortages will likely somewhat reduce yields. Despite this, aboveaverage national 2021 production is expected.

  • Macroeconomic conditions remain poor, characterized by an annual inflation rate in the triple digits, high parallel market exchange rates, increasing basic food and non-food prices, and local currency shortages. Extensive damage to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure is also impacting access to some areas and markets, further increasing prices. While many households are currently market reliant, especially in urban areas, food access for many poor households is also being impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, constraining income-earning activities, mainly in the informal sector, driving below-average purchasing power.

  • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to prevail in the southern, western, and extreme northern areas as the 2020/21 lean season continues through March, with Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes where humanitarian assistance is significant. Typical surplus and urban areas are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during this period, with some households likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Food security is expected to significantly improve as food access increases with the harvest in April/May, resulting in widespread Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. However, some typical deficit areas are expected to be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) as poor households are likely to continue to have difficulty meeting their non-food needs due to lower than average purchasing power.