FOOD POVERTY LINE JUMPS 53%

By Staff Reporter

 The October Food Poverty Line (FPL) jumped 54% to $271.48 from $176.61 recorded in September; latest figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency have shown.

The FPL represents the minimum consumption expenditure necessary to ensure that each household member can (if all expenditures were devoted to food) consume a minimum food basket representing 2 100 calories. An individual whose total consumption expenditure does not exceed the food poverty line is deemed poor.

Statistics also showed that the October 2019 FPL for an average of five persons in Zimbabwe stood at $1, 357.42, representing an increase of 54% when compared to the September 2019 figure of $883.03.

The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for Zimbabwe stood at $631.90 per person in October 2019. This means that an individual required that much to purchase both non-food and food items as at October 2019 in order not to be deemed poor. This represents an increase of 44.2% when compared to the September 2019 figure of $438.32.

The TCPL for an average of five persons stood at $3, 159.52 in October 2019. This means that an average household required that much to purchase both food and non-food items for them not to be deemed poor. This represents an increase of 44.2% when compared to the September 2019 figure of $2, 191.62.

The TCPL, which is naturally higher than the FPL was derived using 2011/12 PICES data. It was derived by computing the non-food consumption expenditures of poor households whose consumption expenditures were just equal to the FPL. The amount was added to the FPL. The analysis uses the per capita consumption expenditure, and an average of five persons is used based on the average size of households as established by the 2012 Population Census.

The poverty datum lines vary by province as prices vary from place to place. The TCPL for an average household in October 2019 ranged from $2,904.00 in Mashonaland Central Province to $3, 359.00 in Matabeleland North Province. The differences are explained by differences in average prices in the provinces.

The quantities of commodities consumed at base year in the minimum needs basket which is consistent with the preferences of the poor individuals and households in Zimbabwe are fixed. The variations in the value of the basket are explained by changes in average prices.

The poverty datum line (PDL) represents the cost of a given standard of living that must be attained if a person is deemed not to be poor.

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