Southern Africa Key Messages (December 2017 to May 2018)
A mixed start of season experienced during the 2017/18 rainfall season
Across the majority of the region food security outcomes are stable and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with the exception of areas in the DRC that are projected in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through March 2018 as a result of conflict, as well as areas in Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Mozambique that are projected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) because of localized below-average production last season due to dryness, localized crop damage from fall armyworm, or consecutive years of dryness.
The start of the 2017/18 seasonal rains has been mixed. Some areas received early rains 10-30 days early and some experience a start that was 10-40 days late. Rains in some parts of southeastern South Africa were 30-40 days late and other areas were yet to start. Fall armyworm (FAW) has been confirmed for the 2017/18 cropping season in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar. More detailed information is still forthcoming about these infestations, but they are likely to have negative impacts on crop development this season. The majority of countries impacted during the previous season are likely to be affected by FAW this season
Agricultural activities have started, and most households are engaged in planting. However, late planting is likely in areas where rainfall has not been received. Casual labor opportunities are normal in many areas except where the rainfall is a bit late and this is affecting access to food for very poor and poor households.