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50% of rural population in extreme poverty: ZimStats

Local News
In its latest food security fact sheet for the country, ZimStats shows that 38% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line.

RECENT statistics released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) show that 63% of Zimbabwe’s 15,2 million population cannot afford a balanced diet and consume vegetables like covo and rape more than meat.

In its latest food security fact sheet for the country, ZimStats shows that 38% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line.

 “In rural areas, 51% of the people were living in extreme poverty while 10% in urban areas were living in extreme poverty,” ZimStat manager Grown Chirongwe said last week as he presented the data based on a survey.

“The composition of a balanced diet according to World Health Organisation should have protein 10% to 15% and should also have fats 5% to 30%.  We also have carbohydrates which are 55% to 75% and in all that 37% of the population in Zimbabwe consumed a balanced diet meaning that the remainder had no balanced diet.”

The data presented also showed that Zimbabwean households only consumed 17% of the protein that comes from animal products (fish, eggs, beef, chickens and others.

It also showed that the most consumed food items by households was rape/covo/chomolia which stood at 91% followed by brown sugar and cooking oil which stood at 72% and 70%, respectively. Beef and chicken consumption stood at 58% each.

On consumption of refined and wholegrain cereals in calories, the results revealed that 86% of households consumed maize while 68% consumed rice. Consumption of millet and sorghum stood at 3% and 4%, respectively.

“At national level, 1 791 calories were consumed per person per day in Zimbabwe. This is against the 2 100 calories which are recommended in poverty analysis. In rural areas the average was 1 890 calories per person per day while in urban areas it was 1 590 calories per person per day,” Chirongwe said.

The results also showed that 56% of the calories consumed by households came from purchases, while 46% came from non-market sources.

On malnutrition, ZimStats said 2,9% of the children were reported as wasted by the multiple indicator cluster survey mix, while 2,5% were overweight and 23,5% were stunted, while 9,7% were underweight.

ZimStats director-general Taguma Mahonde said the 2023 food security fact sheet was part of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and Norway project to build capacity in food security statistics for use by policymakers to improve peoples’ diet.

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