Due to low maize grain supplies in markets in southern provinces, most communities are opting to purchase less preferred maize meal instead. Maize meal prices will most likely be stable from October through December. In the northern provinces, maize grain prices are projected to be 15-25 percent higher than last year and the five-year average, which could limit household purchasing power.
Limited livelihood options are expected to continue from October through December in the south due to poor livestock conditions and prices because of dryness and the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease, as well as the below-average rainfall forecast. Below-average and erratic rainfall during this period could worsen household income levels by having an adverse effect on cultivation and weeding opportunities for poor households. Remittance levels also continue to be affected by a weakening South African Rand against the United States Dollar.
Planning for the 2015/16 lean season humanitarian assistance is being prioritized for the worst affected provinces in the south and should begin in October. However, lower than normal targeting levels are expected because of the constrained funding environment. Below-normal lean season assistance coverage is likely to result in a higher number of people facing food access challenges from January through March 2016.
This Food Security Brief is a starting point for anyone seeking a deep understanding of the range of factors influencing food security in Zimbabwe. It draws on decades of FEWS NET data and information on livelihoods, household vulnerability, nutrition, trade, and agro-climatology, as well as an array of other sources. It provides an overview of the food security context, the main determinants of chronic and acute food insecurity, and areas at most risk of food insecurity.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 35 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.