Lesotho Key Message Update, August 2018

Situation Report
Originally published
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Staple food prices begin to rise earlier than normal in Lesotho

Key Messages
- Poor households are currently experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes due to above-average staple food prices and below-average incomes. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely by November with the early onset of the lean season as food access remains constrained and households exhausted their food stocks due to the poor 2018 harvest.
- Typical sources of household income from non-agriculture labor, including domestic work and self-employment are atypically low due to the below-average 2018 harvest. Poor households, dependent on market purchases for food, will face further constrained purchasing power as the lean season progresses and food prices increase. Households will depend more on continuing government safety net programs and remittances from South Africa to meet food needs.
- Households started land preparation for the 2019 agricultural season, however their capacity to invest in farming activities is restricted due to below-average income and limited ability to pay for agricultural inputs. Also, based on the current El Niño forecast, below-average rainfall is anticipated for the first half of the rainy season between October 2018 to January 2019. These two factors will further constrain income from agriculture labor and reduced crop yields.