Zimbabwe Key Message Update, November 2017
Early November rains result in early planting in parts of the country
Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes continue in most northern and high crop-producing areas and are expected until March 2018. In contrast, marginal production areas in the southern, western, and extreme northern regions are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) because of reduced or depleted own-produced food stocks, limited livelihood activities, and reduced household incomes due to prevailing economic and liquidity challenges. Humanitarian assistance is expected in some areas and is likely to improve outcomes to Stressed (IPC Phase 2!). These outcomes are expected to persist in most areas until March 2018.
Price increases of several basic commodities, due partly to prevailing cash shortages, have impacted food access for poor households. The government has started monitoring the availability and prices of several basic commodities (including cooking oil, mealie meal, bread, flour, sugar, rice, salt, laundry soap and fuel) and relaxing import restrictions on some commodities (including food and crop inputs). These policy changes are expected to temporarily alleviate commodity shortages and stabilize prices.
Widespread rainfall began across much of the county in early to mid-November and land preparation and planting for the 2017-18 cropping season have started. For some areas that are used to a later start of season, the earlier than normal start of the rainfall may result in higher than average cropped area. There is a shortage of fertilizer supplies in most markets, and as farmer demand has increased, fertilizer prices have increased significantly as well.
In high crop-producing areas, on-farm casual labor will improve with the start of the rains, but will remain below typical levels, and payments will be mainly in-kind. In some marginal production areas, targeted districts and communities began receiving humanitarian assistance in the form of either cash transfers or in-kind in October/November.