ORDINARY Zimbabwean families can still afford adequate quantities of staple food from own production with minimal food security challenges, a report by the Family Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has revealed.
In its food security assessment report for July to December 2014, FEWSNET said markets including those in the traditionally cereal deficit southwestern part of the country currently had adequate supplies of staple food.
“Minimal outcomes are expected to continue through December. However, by November, some very poor households will start complimenting own production with market purchases in some parts in the south [Matobo, Mangwe, and Zaka districts) and north (Mudzi, Mbire, Mutoko districts] of the country,” the report said.
The report shows that national average price for maize grain in July was 8% higher than the five-year average.
However, in comparison to same time last year, current maize grain prices in areas such as Gweru, Bulawayo, Masvingo, and Mutare decreased by between 28% and 37%.
Maize meal prices have remained stable and similar to last year’s levels.
“However, retailers in the high maize grain producing areas in the north, such as Nyanga, Gokwe, and Mazoe districts, have reported a significant decrease in maize meal demand since most households are relying on own production.”
The increase in the staple supplies has led to a 17% decline in the national average maize grain compared to the same period last year.
Officially opening the 104th Harare Agricultural Show at the Exhibition Park recently, President Robert Mugabe said the country had attained the national food self-sufficiency following last season’s bumper harvest which saw the country surpassing 1,4 million tonnes target in grain and maize production.
Zimbabwe’s output increased to 1,46 million tonnes of maize in 2013/14 season compared to 798 596 tonnes of maize between 2012-13.