Zimbabwe Food Security Update, August 2009


- Generally, cereals are available throughout the country, given the good 2009 harvests. These food stocks are complemented by contributions from individual and private imports. However, cereal stocks are likely to go down in early October, most people will start to rely on purchases, and food assistance will be required for vulnerable populations.

- Although the harvest was good, based on CFSAM's and MoA's production estimates of 1,510,000 MT and 1,370,000 MT, respectively, the country has a cereal gap ranging from 364,000 MT to 535,000 MT after considering commercial and food aid imports by the end of July 2009.

- Most households in rural areas are generally food secure, consuming cereal from their own production, although these stocks are likely to run out by early October for most households. Purchases remain the second option for most households, but access to cash is a challenge, and this has intensified barter trade.

- Supply of both food and non–food stuffs, mainly from South Africa, in urban areas have been favorable since January 2009, and this is expected to continue through December, given the extended relaxed import regulations.

- The preliminary winter wheat production estimates for 2009 of 55,000 MT will only cover about 17 percent of national requirements, and is 12 percent less than last season's production estimate of 62,000 MT. This decline has mainly been attributed to unfavorable producer prices and limited financial support for farmers to purchase inputs.