Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zim food supplies stable

Zim food supplies stable

by Tobias Manyuchi Tuesday 07 September 2010

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s food security has been stable throughout the year but
humanitarian assistance is needed in October when the current food stocks
run out, the Famine Early Warning System (Fewsnet) has said.

“Food security at the national level is stable with contributions coming
from own cereal production and an improvement in the private sector cereal
supply through imports,” Fewsnet said in its August and September report.

“Supply of basic commodities on the market has remained constant, though
access to these goods remains a great challenge for poor and very poor
households in both rural and urban areas.”

The hunger warning agency said most parts will have adequate food supplies
throughout this month but said drier and grain deficit areas in the
southern, western and northern parts of the country will need food aid in
October saying households will embark on coping strategies which include
livestock sales and limiting of food portions.

“Supplies from own production are expected to have run out at the beginning
of the lean season in October for most parts of the country, especially the
drier and grain deficit areas covering the southern, western, and northern
parts of the country,” Fewsnet said.

“As stocks for most poor households start diminishing, income generation and
common coping strategies employed across the four livelihood zones of
concern may include: vegetable production (gardening), brick molding,
livestock sales, consumption of wild foods, firewood sales, thatch grass
sales, craft sales, reduction of meals, and limiting of meal portions.”

The southern African country, which was once a breadbasket of the region,
has since 2001 experienced acute food shortages chiefly blamed on President
Robert Mugabe’s chaotic and often violent drive to seize land from
experienced white farmers for redistribution to blacks.

The farm seizures saw farm production tumbling by more than 60 percent after
Mugabe failed to provide funding inputs and skills training to black
villagers resettled on former white farms to maintain production.

But agriculture is showing signs of recovery with maize production rising to
1.3 million tonnes in the 2009/10 season up from 1.2 million tones in the
2008/09 season.

Production of tobacco – Zimbabwe’s biggest single foreign currency earner
before farm seizures – has also risen to 120 million kilogrammes or more
than double the 58 million kilogrammes produced last season. – ZimOnline.


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