ZIMBABWE – As a countermeasure for the country’s food insecurity and malnutrition challenges, Zimbabwe’s Cabinet has endorsed the Multi-Sectoral Food and Nutrition Strategy for the years 2023-2025.
The strategy, presented to the Cabinet by Vice President Dr. Constantino Chiwenga, aims at accelerating inclusive economic growth and socio-economic transformation.
This comprehensive approach, as outlined by Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr. Jenfan Muswere, involves collaboration across key sectors including agriculture, education, health, local government, social services, and women and gender.
The strategy’s development is the result of extensive consultations with stakeholders, ensuring a holistic and inclusive approach.
It fosters multi-sectoral collaboration, promoting partnerships and coordination among various essential sectors.
These sectors will work together in a decentralized manner, creating local development councils to oversee the strategy’s implementation.
The strategy focuses on crucial areas such as policy analysis, agriculture and food security, social protection, food safety, quality and standards, nutrition security, and information dissemination.
By aligning actions and resources efficiently, the plan aims to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition effectively.
It will strengthen collaborative efforts among government sectors, allowing for more streamlined implementation and monitoring.
Ultimately, the strategy is designed to build resilience within communities, leading to improved livelihoods, increased productivity, visible development, and robust economic growth. This initiative marks a significant step forward in Zimbabwe’s journey toward achieving its Vision 2030 goals.
During the 2022/23 lean season, more than 3.8 million people in rural areas faced food insecurity at peak, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
Zimbabwe’s predominantly semi-arid climate is extremely variable, with shifting rainfall patterns, droughts and floods exacerbated by substantial environmental challenges including land degradation, deforestation and inadequate water quantity and quality.
In Zimbabwean cities, high inflation, rising food prices and fluctuating exchange rates have devalued asset bases, savings and micro-enterprise produce at household level. In urban areas, 1.5 million people (29 percent of the urban population) will be cereal-insecure in 2023.
According to the 2023 rural ZIMVAC assessment results approximately 26% of rural households in Zimbabwe will be cereal insecure during the coming peak hunger period (January – March 2024), which translates to approximately 2.7 million people who will require about 100,000 MT of cereal.
Further, Matabeleland North (42%), Mashonaland Central (31%) and Masvingo (30%) provinces are projected to have the highest proportion of cereal insecure households during the peak hunger period.