Zimbabwe Food Security Outlook Update, January 2016


Drought conditions expected to affect area planted and crop conditions this season January 2016

Key Messages

  • As of mid-January, over 90 percent of the country had received below average rainfall with some southern and western areas receiving less than half of normal rainfall amounts for this period. Area planted to cereals is significantly lower than last year, a below average season. A high proportion of households in the south did not plant due to persistent dryness. In northern parts of the country, crops are in fair condition, however some are experiencing moisture stress in some marginal areas.

  • Drought as a result of the ongoing El Niño has resulted in poor to critical water and pasture conditions in the south and parts of the north. This is atypical more than halfway into the rain season. As a result, higher than normal cattle deaths have been recorded. Typical livelihood and coping options such as on- and off-farm casual labor continue to be limited in most areas between January and March, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) food security outcomes, in the presence of food assistance.

  • Maize grain prices increased slightly in December 2015 in both rural and urban markets. The main drivers of this increase are reduced cereal imports, low in-country stocks in surplus areas, as well as poor harvest prospects at both the national and regional level. Between now and March, maize meal prices are only expected to increase marginally.

  • Currently, about 780,000 people in rural areas are receiving lean season food assistance from January to March. A large number of people in rural areas continue to experience livelihood protection deficits from January to March, in the absence of assistance. Currently the ZIMVAC is conducting a rapid assessment to update the national food security situation.