By Adelaide Kuudzerema
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima has announced that Government is currently in the process of compiling information that will inform its response to food shortages in rural households.
Speaking in Parliament recently, the Minister said Government will use the latest Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) report to design its intervention.
“We have just received the ZIMVAC report for the rural areas and we are using that information on vulnerability, including even temporary food insecurity to come up with a program for food-deficit mitigation. It is important that we act right now because we know the desperate situation that some communities are in at the moment,” said Mavima.
The Minister said the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has adequate grain in its strategic reserve and would be able to provide the drought relief.
Mavima said his ministry will, in the next two weeks, approach the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to get the grain that is needed in order to make interventions.
Millions of Zimbabweans especially from rural areas are at risk of starvation due to poor harvests caused by erratic rains.
The crisis comes at a time the country is going through difficult times that have seen prices of basic commodities going up since May.
According to a ZIMVAC 2021 Rural Livelihoods Assessment, 50 percent of households in Matabeleland South Province have less than three months’ supplies of food.
Zimbabwe has experienced recurrent food shortages over the past two decades despite billions of dollars spent on government-aided agricultural programs such as Intwasa/Pfumvudza and the Command Agriculture.