Crisis (Integrated Phase Classification – IPC Phase 3 of 5) food security outcomes persist across most of Zimbabwe mainly due to the poor 2018/19 harvests and escalating macroeconomic hardships, the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS) reports.
Following the government’s removal of fuel subsidies on May 20, fuel prices increased by nearly 50%. Transport fares rose by up to 100% for some routes as fuel shortages continue. Immediately following the fuel price increases, the currency devalued by 33% on the official interbank market while parallel market exchange rates devalued even further. This triggered further food and non-food commodity price increases. Official annual inflation for April was 75.86% up from 66.8% in March, according to FEWN.
The Ministry of Agriculture second-round crop production estimates indicates the 2018/19 maize production is about 59% of the five-year average. As market demand for maize grain remains high, maize prices continue to atypically increase in most markets for this time of year due to the poor harvest and deteriorating economic environment.
Poor households, most of whom did not have a harvest and/or exhausted own-produced foods already, will increasingly face difficulties accessing market foods.
Featured image credit: MattiaG
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