Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes likely during the lean season
Lesotho is currently experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food security following a poor 2018 harvest. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely by December with the start of the lean season. Poor households’ food stocks will be low or depleted and they will face above-average food prices and have reduced income from agricultural labor opportunities and remittances.
As domestic production is projected to be below average, local maize grain supply will be depleted in markets earlier than normal. However, market supplies are expected to remain stable by imported maize meal from South Africa. Although supplies will continue to be stable, high dependency on the market by many households is expected raise prices above average, especially during the lean season.
Based on the current ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) forecast, below-average rainfall is the most likely outcome during the first half of the Southern Africa rainy season between October 2018 to January 2019. Based on this forecast, cropping activities, and subsequently the availability of agricultural labor opportunities, is expected to be lower than normal during the outlook period and will lead to reduced crop yields and income from agricultural activities.