Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Villagers barter goats for bag of maize

Villagers barter goats for bag of maize

Written by Vusimuzi Bhebhe
Saturday, 02 October 2010 16:29

HARARE – Hungry Zimbabwean villagers have turned to are exchanging a goat
for a 50kg bag of maize amid warnings that nearly a million people in rural
areas will need food aid between October and December.

Barter trade is rife in the food-deficit Beitbridge, Gwanda and Mangwe
districts where desperate villagers are said to be trading any commodities
and household effects just to have a meal.

According to the US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET),
hungry villagers are exchanging cows for about eight bags of maize grain
“while a goat is fetching 50kg of maize grain in the Gwanda, Beitbridge and
Mangwe districts”.

However, terms of trade are more favourable in Chiredzi with a beast
exchanged for about 1 000kg of maize grain, which is within the expected
normal terms of trade.

“As more households run out of their cereal stocks, greater chances of
unfair terms of trade are expected with those terms likely favouring
livestock traders,” FEWSNET warned in a report published on Friday.

According to the May 2010 Zimbabwe Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) rural
livelihoods assessment, an estimated 1.3 million Zimbabweans would be food
insecure at the peak of the 2010/11 hunger season early next year.

About 904 463 rural people are estimated to require food aid between this
month and the end of the year.

The highest prevalence of food insecurity is projected to be in Matabeleland
North, Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces as well as the northern
parts of the country which experienced dry spells in the second half of the
2009/10 cropping season.

Other areas worst affected by hunger are Binga, Kariba, Hwange, Chiredzi,
Matobo, Mwenezi, Chipinge, Guruve, Centenary and Mount Darwin.


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