Although Zimbabwe's 2010 maize harvest is likely to fall short of 2009 output, the country is more secure in its food supplies than it was last year due to a stirring economy and grain market liberalization the U.S.-based Famine Early Warning System Network says.
A new FEWSNET report said maize and other staple foods are readily available and maize prices have come down from last year, particularly in areas that had good harvests and due to the emergence of a freer market in cereals under the country's unity government. The state Grain Marketing Board exercised a monopoly on maize and other cereals previously, but was very inefficient and subject to political manipulation.
FEWSNET said most households in rural areas are now through the peak hunger season and that the situation should continue to improve through July as the main harvest of maize comes on line.
But in drought in Masvingo, Matabeleland South and Manicaland provinces among other areas has made food scarce, meaning assistance will be required.
Christian Care National Director Forbes Matonga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that farmers who planted maize early n December-January saw their crops devasted by drought conditions.