Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Urban Food Security Assessment

An Urban Food Security Assessment study dated January 2009 shows that 58% of the individuals in the sample survey had eaten only two meals on the day before participating in the study and another 18% had eaten only one meal that day. Only 22,6% of the sample had eaten three meals on that day. The figures are compared to the results of a survey carried out in November 2006, when 54,1% of those questioned had eaten three meals, 37,4% had eaten two meals and only 4,2% had only one on the day before completing the questionnaire.

Over the period, the number of households classified as "Food INsecure" had increased from an average of 24% to 33% and a breakdown of the 2008 figures by province shows Manicaland to be worst off at 47% and Matabeleland South best placed at 20%.

The basic recommendations are that employees be paid in foreign exchange, that prices should be brought down by encouraging competition among suppliers, that social protection programmes be implemented, that self-employment in the informal sector be encouraged, that urban agriculture be encouraged and that clean water, refuse collection and repairs to sewers be attended to so that the cholera epidemic can be curbed. Hopefully we can accomplish all of these, but then extend employment growth into much more promising formal sector investment-led developments.

John Robe

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