The challenges of food security policy and food quality in Zimbabwe : a case study of Operation Maguta in Buhera District

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 2
  • Abstract:

    The study discusses food quality and safety challenges and their impact on food security policy in the public domain of Zimbabwe. It also interrogates control measures that the Government has adopted in addressing food shortages in some parts of the country. In an approach to food security policy which is relatively new in Africa, the Government of Zimbabwe assisted farmers through a logistical support programme dubbed Operation Maguta in order to improve efficacy in food security policy and quality. The manner in which the programme was conducted has been a subject of public debate in the country. This study queries claims of subsistence farmers benefiting from government assistance in Buhera District. Problems of an increasing population, lack of resources and technical knowledge to deal with preharvest and post-harvest food losses, environmental and food hygiene adversely affected food quality and safety in Zimbabwe. The study is conceptually based on the following food security policy pillars: availability, accessibility, stability of supply and access plus safe and healthy utilisation. The study adopted focus group interviews with subsistence farmers and agriculturalists, and the questions were directed at production, supply and demand. The study found that agricultural production levels in Buhera District are still low with regard to contributing to malnutrition, which consequently affects growth and learning capacity for children and the ability of adults to lead fully productive lives.