By Trevor Makonyonga
Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) has released the Poverty Datum lines for October with an increase on both the Food Poverty Line and the Total Consumption Poverty Line.
The Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in October 2021 was $5,092.00 whilst the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) stands at $7,118.00 in October 2021.
ZIMSTAT has been producing the Poverty Datum Lines (PDL) using the lower bound poverty line. The method refers to the sum of food poverty line and the average amount derived from non-food items of households whose total expenditure is equal to the food poverty line.
The food poverty line (FPL) represents the amount of money that an individual will require to afford the minimum required daily energy intake of 2 100 calories.
The total consumption poverty line (TCPL) which is naturally higher than the FPL was derived using 2017 PICES data and using the lower bound poverty line method. 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, if an individual does not consume more than the TCPL, he or she is deemed poor.
The food poverty line (FPL) as at October 2021 being at $5,092.25 means that the minimum needs basket cost that much per person in October 2021. This represents an increase of 7.6 percent over the September 2021 figure of $4,734.33.
The Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for Zimbabwe stood at $7,118.32 per person in October 2021 which means that an individual required that much to purchase both non-food and food items as at October 2021 in order not to be deemed poor. This represents an increase of 7.0 percent when compared to the September 2021 figure of $6,653.65.
The poverty datum lines vary by province as prices vary from place to place. 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 TCPL of $7.118.00 also represents the total income needed for an individual (with all their income added together) as a minimum for them not to be deemed poor.