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Food Readily Available in Zimbabwe - But Priced Out of Reach for Many

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network says basic foods are readily available the Zimbabwe consumer marketplace, but limited income remains a constraint on dietary requirements for many households

Basic foodstuffs are readily available in Zimbabwe's consumer marketplace, says a report by the US-based Famine Early Warning Systems Network, but limited resources especially for households in the country's rural areas continue to constrain access to nutrition.

FewsNet said about 1,7 million Zimbabweans, the majority of them in the rural areas, are unable to obtain enough food despite decent harvests and general availability. But it said that number should decline to about 600,000 as the maize harvest begins this month.

The organization, supported by the US Agency for International Development, identified a number of areas whose inhabitants face food insecurity, including Beitbridge, Matabeleland South province, Mudzi, Mashonaland East province, Mberengwa, Midlands province, and Bikita, Masvingo province, among others.

Forbes Matonga, director of Christian Care, a leading distributor of food aid for international donors including the UN World Food Program, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that food production has suffered as farmers have turned to more lucrative tobacco.