Part of this will be covered by commercial imports, projected to total 317,000 tons of cereals, including 200,000 tons of maize. The mission estimated 1.68 million Zimbabweans would be food insecure in 2010/11 and 133,000 tons of food assistance would be needed to feed them.
The report said that general poverty and chronic food insecurity had led to reduced diversity of consumption and had also contributed to an increased prevalence of chronic malnutrition among young children. The report indicates that lack of liquidity remains a constraint to accessing inputs and increasing food production.
The 2009/10 input assistance programme, jointly formulated by AGRA, FAO, IFAD and WFP, proposed a quick impact programme that aimed to substantively boost smallholder staple food production in Zimbabwe. The international community responded well and FAO received contributions from a number of donors, such as the European Union, the United States of America, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Finland. The EU made the largest financial contribution under the European Union Food Facility for Zimbabwe in the amount of €15.4 million ($20 million).
In total 51, 500 tons of fertilizer and 6,500 tons of maize seeds were distributed to 738,000 households. FAO also promoted conservation agriculture that helped farmers to improve soil fertility through the use of techniques such as maintaining soil organic cover, reducing tillage and better crop rotation.
The programme also promoted the use of vouchers which farmers could use to get the inputs they needed from local suppliers. The agricultural support programmes need to be continued during the next planting season to consolidate the gains achieved so far.