Zimbabwe experienced a poor 2014/15 agricultural season characterized by dry spells in most parts of the country particularly in Masvingo and Matabeleland North and South Provinces. This has led to losses in agricultural production of over 60% drop in cereal production as reported by the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanization and Irrigation Development (MAMID). There is also loss of household incomes due to reduced labor opportunities in the agricultural sector.
According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) 2015, there is a nationwide cereal deficit of over 650,000 MT while an additional 350,000 MT will be required to feed livestock. This has put 1.5 million people at risk of starvation. According to ZIMVAC acute malnutrition in children has risen to 3.3% up from 2.3% in the previous season. Average household purchasing power in terms of maize grain dropped from 300 kilograms last season to 244 at the start of this consumption season and FEWSNET expects this trend to continue. Despite the ongoing lean season assistance, FEWSNET reported that most Districts are currently experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes because of a lower than typical level of lean season assistance.