By Miranda Dzumbunu
The Government has put in place food security measures and programmes inorder to help the vulnerable groups which were affected by natural disasters such as Covid-19, Cyclone Idai and drought.
In the 2020 Rural livelihoods assessments which were carried out by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC), it has been recorded that there has been prevailing food shortages in the rural areas.
“Despite the natural disasters experienced by the country such as droughts, Cyclone Idai and Covid-19 Government has put in place an active response to the prevailing food and nutrition insecurity among rural livelihoods with its support increasing to 76 percent in 2020, up from 73 percent in 2019,” said the Minister of Information, publicity and broadcasting services, Monica Mutsvangwa presenting the Thirty-third Post Cabinet on Tuesday 22 September.
To support the vulnerable groups, the government has also put in place measures like the distribution of food aid and cash transfers as well as removing restrictions on food importation such as the removal of duty on maize, wheat, cooking oil and other basic commodities.
A greater number of rural livelihoods has been affected by drought and Cyclone Idai as they depended mostly on farming therefore the government has remained a vital source in providing crop inputs and food support, contributing 48 percent in that regard as recorded by ZIMVAC in the 2020 rural livelihoods assessments.
“Government has put in place food subsidies through continued implementation of social protection measures to improve food access and employment creation through the employment of the vulnerable communities by engaging able bodied Drought Relief Participants under the Capital Development Projects,” added Minister Monica Mutsvangwa in the Post Cabinet.
With the support from the combined efforts by the Government and Development Partners, majority of districts are receiving food aid supporting the population which was projected by ZIMVAC as being insecure.
“Rural industrialisation strategy hinged on devolution will be crafted taking into account value addition of the indigenous foods and fruits that often offer respite to communities during periods of drought,” said Honorable Minister Monica Mutsvangwa.
In addition the government has directed on the equalisation of opportunities through investment in infrastructure and internet connectivity in rural schools.
The Cabinet also noted that the policies and programmes that respond to the prevailing food insecurity will continue to be guided and monitored.