Food supplies dwindling

Loughty Dube

THE Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FewsNet) and the World Food Programme (WFP) this week warned of declining food supplies in most districts of Zimbabwe.


The groups said urban people were also facing starvation because while food was available the prices were unaffordable.


The WFP’s emergency report number 38 of 2004 and FewsNet’s monthly food security update released this week, expressed serious concern about the food situation in the country.


“As more households rely on the market to obtain their cereal needs, food security will depend more and more on the Grain Marketing Board (GMB),” FewsNet said.


“However, the quantity of grain collected by the GMB as of mid-August is insufficient to meet the needs in urban centres and rural areas with deficit production.”


The WFP said Rushinga, Lower Guruve and some parts of the Centenary valley districts were experiencing serious food shortages.


“In Masvingo province, reports show that food security is better in resettled areas than in communal areas. Some major GMB depots in the province are not selling cereal due to nonavailability,” it said.


“In the traditionally dry Matabeleland province, Bulilimamangwe, Lupane, Matobo and Gwanda, Tsholotsho and Nkayi reported low availability of food.”


Although inflation has now fallen to 314% from a January peak of 623%, the groups said this was still too high.