Experiences in increasing food access and nutrition in Zimbabwe
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Factors which determine individual household access to food and adequate nutrition include the agro-ecological, economic, political, socio-cultural, and health factors; as well as natural and man-made disasters. At independence in 1980, the majority of Zimbabweans in both rural and urban areas had limited access to food. The war of liberation had disrupted food production and marketing activities. The land tenure system had allocated land to the rural peasant on the least productive soils. In addition, the peasant farmer had limited access to credit to improve crop yield and ensure adequate food security throughout the year. Access to agricultural extension services was also limited. Rural incomes were insufficient to purchase food, particularly where remittances from wage earners in the family were unavailable. In addition, the retail prices of food in the rural areas are much higher. Hence, large segments of the rural population had limited purchasing power to meet basic needs.