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Zimbabwe Stocks Shelves With Corn That Most Struggle to Buy

Weakening consumer demand, government cost-cutting and a liquidity squeeze as banks hold back on lending are dragging down prices. Annual consumer prices fell 2.8 percent in July, with food declining 3.7 percent.
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
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In January, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s government reversed a ban on private imports of corn as a drought looked set to slash harvests. Poor Zimbabweans like Jessica Musoni will struggle to afford it.

Musoni is one of millions of people in Zimbabwe’s rural areas enduring the worst drought in more than a decade that’s left the country with a 700,000 metric ton-corn deficit, about half of annual consumption. Income from vegetables that Musoni grows and sells at a street stall barely allow her to buy the staple food of corn meal, that’s boiled into a dish known locally as sadza.