Southern Africa Food Security Outlook Update, October 2017 to May 2018
Between October 2017 and January 2018, most areas in the region will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes, with the exception of parts of Zimbabwe, central Mozambique, southern Madagascar and the Kasai and Tanganyika conflict zones in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where Crisis (IPC phase 3) outcomes are prevailing. During the upcoming lean season period, it is expected that area outcomes will transition to Stressed (IPC Phase 2 and 2!) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and May 2018 in parts of southern Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Kasai and Tanganyika in the DRC.
Normal agricultural activities are expected to start on time and land preparation is ongoing in the region. The most recent international climate model analyses indicate a normal start to the 2017/18 rainy season is likely and that total cumulative rainfall during the October/November 2017 – March 2018 period is likely to be average tending to below average rainfall in southern areas, including Zimbabwe, northeastern South Africa, Lesotho, and southern Mozambique. Total cumulative rainfall is likely to be average tending to above average across most of Malawi, northern Mozambique, Zambia, and Madagascar.
Maize supplies in the region are above average, owing to high 2016/17 seasonal production. This has ensured stability of food availability in many parts of the region. As a result, maize prices are at or below average levels and expected to remain so throughout the 2017/18 consumption year. Exceptions to this trend may likely be in Tanzania where prices are expected to remain above average due to the past drought.