Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes expected through April 2020 as crop production prospects remain poor
Most of Lesotho is currently classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and as the ongoing lean season peaks, the number of people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes is increasing. This period is even more severe this year due to the compounding effects of two consecutive poor harvests. Food consumption gaps are expected to persist among poor and very poor households until the onset of harvests in May 2020, although improvements may be limited by expected poor agricultural production.
Agriculture activity has increased slightly due to increased rainfall across much of Lesotho in November and December. Although late in some areas, farmers have been planting in order to catch up with the season. This is driving increases in agricultural labor opportunities for very poor and poor households, which remain below typical levels. Labor wage rates are also lower than usual, limiting income for households who depend on these activities during the lean season.
Maize grain prices have been generally stable in months. Maize grain prices in Maseru market have been stable since May although there was a 4% jump from September to October 2019. Markets are functioning normally with adequate stocks supplied from South Africa.