Zambia Food Security Outlook Update August 2013

Report
from Famine Early Warning System Network
Published on 31 Aug 2013 View Original

Maize and maize meal prices continue rising

KEY MESSAGES

• Although households in areas of concern in southern and western Zambia have started depleting their own food stocks early due to lower harvests and staple food prices are rising much earlier than usual, acute food insecurity remains Minimal (IPC Phase 1) across the country. Poor households are currently meeting their basic food needs by working for food and gathering and consuming wild foods.

• Across the country maize prices have started rising almost three months earlier than usual as private sector demand remains high, in addition to demand by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) which started maize purchases in late July. Additionally, there is atypical maize demand from Malawi and Tanzania and this is also contributing to rising prices. Maize and meal prices are expected to continue rising and this will make it difficult for poorer households to adequately access staple foods from the market, especially households in the south that experienced reduced harvests and will be relying on market purchases much earlier than usual.

• During the upcoming 2013/14 cropping season, the structure of the input subsidy program will change and small scale farmers are uncertain about how they will access subsidized fertilizers. Clarity on the implementation of this program will need to be addressed by the Government before the start of the planting period (late October/November).