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Overview

The food situation in Zimbabwe remains fairly stable, with some acute shortages in some parts of the country. The government introduced different grain schemes in 2017/2020, as a way to help maize farmers to improve grain production in the country. These programs include the Command Agriculture and Pfumvudza. The Command Agriculture was unsuccessful in 2017/18 due to the persistent spells of drought experienced. In 2019/2020 the two schemes were successful.

Maize meal (roller meal – unrefined), oil, Sugar, Salt, and Sugar beans account for 80% of the groceries in Zimbabwe.  ‘The national staple is sadza, the white maize meal porridge most locals are raised on. The second component of the Zimbabwean diet is meat (or nyama). Other commonly consumed types of food include rice, beans, lentils, peas, corn-soya blend, sorghum, and bulgur wheat. Popular fish include bream and the white bait-like dried kapenta from Lake Kariba and trout from rivers and dams in the Eastern Highlands.

Local foods are between 15-20% more expensive than imported goods as their overheads at the moment are so much more expensive. The government has however increase tariffs on imports to discourage the imports. South Africa is the major trading partner with reference to the general food basket and groceries. As it is oil and sugar are imported from Brazil and purchased through brokers at the port in Durban, South Africa. Sugar from Zimbabwe is exported for much need foreign currency. However, prices fluctuate on the world market according to seasons and Malawi is another major importer of sugar to this country. Zambia exports grain to Zimbabwe as they have a surplus of grain. South Africa also exports maize meal to Zimbabwe in large quantities especially to the southern parts of the country because of their proximity. South African’s major chain stores are now operating in Zimbabwe, thus increasing food supplies in the country. The major retailers in Zimbabwe are Mohammed Musa, Spar-Pick n Pay, Town & Country, Bhadela, TM, OK, and Bon Marche.

Generic country information can be located from sources that are regularly maintained and reflect current facts and figures. For a general overview of country data related to the service and supply sectors, please consult to following sources:

The Observatory of Economic Complexity – MIT (OEC) Zimbabwe page 

Zimbabwe - Food Security Outlook: Tue, 2020-06-30 to Sat, 2021-01-30 | Famine Early Warning Systems Network (fews.net)

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