Nearly 600,000 Zimbabweans will require food assistance in the coming season, an estimate down from the 2.2 million people heavily affected by food insecurity last season.
According to the latest rural livelihoods report compiled by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) 565,000 people in rural areas will need food aid from January to March next year.
ZIMVAC said Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Mashonaland West are projected to have the highest proportions of food insecure households.
It is estimated that food insecurity in these areas will be 9%, 8.3% and 7.7% - figures higher than the national average.
Manicaland and Masvingo provinces are projected to have the least proportions of food insecure households.
Former Christian Care director Rev. Forbes Matonga said the new figures are welcome, but there is a challenge to assist those who remain food insecure.
He said the assistance from all partners including government has made the difference in making people most affected food secure.
Last season, Zimbabwe’s food security assessment was the worst since 2009 with a quarter of people living in the rural areas requiring urgent food assistance, but ZIMVAC says the increase in food crop production, household incomes and livestock prices are attributing to improved households’ access to food.
The country’s corn production fell in 2013 to 800,000 tonnes as prices surged 61 percent, while this year’s production is expected to be 1.7 metric tonnes.