Lesotho Food Security Monitoring System Updates Quarterly Bulletin 3rd Quarter 2010, September 2010


Summary for 3rd Quarter 2010

- The 14th Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook forum (SARCOF-14) predicted increased chances of above-normal to normal rainfall in the first half of the rainy season, October-November 2010. However, there is high likelihood of below-normal to normal rainfall in January-March 2011.

- Prices of fuel have dropped by roughly 5 percent compared to the previous quarter; and on an annual basis (between September09 and September10), there is a drop of 5 percent in petrol prices, while diesel and an paraffin prices remained unchanged.

- The annual vulnerability assessment by Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) was conducted in May-June and estimates approximately 200,000 people will need humanitarian assistance in 2010 equivalent to approximately either 13,500 MT of maize or M78, 000,000 (using rural prices of maize meal as at May 2010.

- The Lesotho agricultural census was carried out in July and data analysis is under way. This census is carried out once in ten years and will provide updated agricultural data. It is also expected to provide some indication of progress in implementation of the agricultural priorities in the Poverty Reduction strategy.

- In June, the Government of Lesotho conducted the National Food Security Forum with the aim of reviewing the performance of the agricultural sector and mapping out ways to improve the situation in the country. Following the forum, the government is designing a strategy with long-term solutions, putting more emphasis on commodity-based production value chain management for cereal, livestock and horticulture.

- The 2009/2010 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) findings are being finalised. This DHS has included modules on alcohol and tobacco use, anaemia testing, vitamin A consumption, blood pressure, HIV behaviour, knowledge and testing, and a men's module as well as information on women's and children's health and nutrition status. The preliminary results of the DHS (2009) estimated stunting at 39 percent.