Thirty percent of Zimbabweans will grow more food insecure towards the end of the year, as hunger continues pestering the most vulnerable communities, the latest Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) 2022 Rural livelihoods assessment report has said.
According to the ZimVAC report, food security exists when all people at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to food that is safe and consumed in sufficient quantity and quality to meet their dietary needs and food preferences and it is supported by an environment of adequate sanitation, health services and care allowing for a healthy and active life.
According to the report, about 30 percent of households nationally are projected to be food insecure from the third quarter of October to December 2022.
Matabeleland North is the province that will suffer the most with 49 percent of people needing food assistance.
“Matabeleland North will be 49 percent food insecure followed by Masvingo with 31 percent, Matabeleland South 30 percent, Mashonaland West and Manicaland both have 28 percent households projected to be food insecure, Midlands 27 percent while Mashonaland Central is 24 percent.,” read the report.
ZimVAC said at peak hunger, about 38 percent of the rural households are projected to be cereal insecure. This is an increase from the 27percent reported in 2021.
“Matabeleland North (58%) is projected to have the highest prevalence of cereal insecurity during the peak hunger period,” said the report.
Meanwhile, the report added that thirteen districts are projected to have over 50 percent of their households being cereal insecure.
“The highest cereal insecurity is projected in Hwange 73 percent, Binga 71 percent, Mwenezi 66 percent, and Buhera 65 percent,” said ZimVAC.
The least cereal insecurity prevalence is projected in Guruve at 9 percent Bindura at 12 percent, Kwekwe at 12 percent, and Sanyati at 13percent.
However, the report said the Government through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is implementing programs to achieve sustainable food security through initiatives to build resilience among communities.
These include input supply schemes to improve farmers’ access to inputs to increase production and productivity, accelerated irrigation rehabilitation and development to increase cropping under irrigation from 116 000ha to 350 000ha by 2025, and adoption of climate-smart agriculture such as the pfumvudza/Intwasa programme to climate-proof food production amongst other initiatives.