Crops wilt during severe drought
Zimbabwe has been hit by a severe drought, cyclone and economic crisis which all contribute to food shortages in the land. Below are key messages extracted from the Zimbabwe Food Security Outlook Update 2019 by The Zimbabwean:
- Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present across most of the country due to the delayed and poor harvest, continued declining macroeconomic situation, and effects of Tropical Cyclone Idai.
Humanitarian assistance is improving outcomes in parts of the country to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). In June, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are anticipated to emerge across most of the country with Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes most likely to continue in deficit-producing areas and areas facing poor harvests. An earlier than usual start to the 2019/20 lean season is expected in July.
- Tropical Cyclone Idai caused heavy flooding and winds, resulting in the significant destruction of infrastructure and crops and loss of livestock. Market access continues to be constrained in many affected areas, although is starting to return to normal. The effects of Idai have worsened harvest prospects and destroyed livelihoods mainly in Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts.
- The main harvest started atypically late in April due to the delayed start of season and will continue through June. Current crop estimates indicate the harvest will be below average across all provinces due to the poor performance of the 2018/19 rainfall season and effects of Tropical Cyclone Idai in eastern areas. Typical seasonal livelihoods such as crop sales, casual labor, and selfemployment activities and livestock sales will most likely remain constrained through September; negatively impacting food access.
- The volatile macroeconomic situation continues to deteriorate, characterized by increasing; foreign exchange shortages, exchange rates, staple and non-staple food prices, and fuel shortages. In early April, The Government increased the maize producer prices by 80.0 percent and provided a 38.5 percent subsidy to commercial millers. Despite Government efforts this forced commercial millers to increase maize meal prices by up to 30.0 percent.
More: The Zimbabwean
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