The agricultural Season A is beginning normally accross the South-East region, where the return of normal rainfall has favored earlier planting than usual and optimal growth of cereals, especially maize.
It is assumed that the harvests of Season A (January to March) will also be normal and will ensure good and sustained food availability in the region. Also, the presence of the fall armyworm (FAW) was poorly observed. This situation should point to good crop prospects with potential losses due to FAW estimated to be lower than those of previous cropping seasons (Season A-2016 and B -2017).
The surplus production of Zambian maize in 2017, combined with the lifting of DRC's restrictions on imports of Zambian maize, has led to good availability of this cereal in all markets in the South-East (Lubumbashi, Kolwezi and Likasi) and Central East (Kasai region). This situation has also led to price stability for grain and flour corn over the last two months, unlike the same period in 2016, when maize prices were higher. The atypical decline observed is of the order of 60 percent, currently.
In the Kasai region, which is at the height of the lean season, maize supplies continue to be sourced from neighboring localities, particularly from Lomami and Haut-Lomami provinces. There is also a significant commercial flow of maize flour from Zambia via the former province of Katanga. These supplies reinforce the limited availability of maize in this region, which is subject to multifaceted and protracted conflicts, with very limited purchasing power for poor households.