Zimbabwe in Grip of Food Insecurity as Drought Devastates Crops

Written by on May 15, 2024


Charity Chikara

Zimbabwe is facing a severe food security crisis after assessments by the Zimbabwe Livelihoods Assessment Committee (ZimLAC) revealed the devastating impact of the El Nino-induced drought. The reports, presented to the Cabinet by Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr. Anxious Masuka on behalf of the Cabinet Committee on Food Security and Nutrition, painted a concerning picture.

The ZimLAC Urban Livelihoods and Nutrition Assessment found that 1.7 million people, or 35% of urban households, are struggling with food insecurity.

Meanwhile, the Second Round Crops, Livestock, and Fisheries Assessment confirmed the drought’s crippling effect. Maize planting decreased by 7%, while there was a 16% increase in planting of more resilient traditional crops. However, overall cereal production is estimated to be a staggering 77% lower than expected, leading to a major shortfall in both food and animal feed.

In response to the crisis, the government declared a State of Disaster. The focus will be on building resilience and reducing reliance on rain-fed agriculture. Measures include promoting climate-proofed agricultural practices and expanding irrigation schemes. Livestock losses due to water and grazing shortages are also being addressed.

The government has assured citizens that comprehensive drought mitigation strategies are in place.

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