The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says the current 2022/23 agricultural season will see farmers face difficulties in accessing crop inputs owing to higher-than-average prices.
Inflation has remained in triple digits since May and this would hurt farmers, NewsDay reported citing USAID’s latest food security outlook released by the food security department the – Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). FEWS NET said:
Throughout the main 2022/23 agricultural season, access to crop inputs is expected to be significantly below normal, due to above-average prices in both USD [United States dollar] and ZWL [Zimdollar]. Most smallholder households are expected to depend on government crop input assistance, given their inability to purchase inputs on the markets.
As has been the case over the last few years, shortages of some fertilisers are likely and the demand for top-dressing fertiliser is expected to be higher than normal given above-average rainfall forecasts across the country and anticipated high levels of leaching. Despite input access challenges, green harvests and consumption are expected at near-normal levels in early 2023 and the main harvest is also likely to be near-average from April/May.
The annual inflation rate fell to 255% in November, down from 268.8% in October, and 280.4% in September.
FEWS NET said the government aimed to distribute crop inputs to about 19 000 households for the 2022/23 cropping season in the district, up from 14 000 last year, though it may be inadequate.
FEWS NET said grain deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board have been significantly lower than normal this year, a result of below-normal harvests.