Food Security Outlook Update May 2011

Situation Report
Originally published
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Food security continues to improve due to ongoing harvests

Key Messages

• Stable household food security is projected for almost all of the districts in Malawi as a result of most of the country’s crops reaching maturity and being harvested.
Those households that are unable to harvest due to dry spells will access agricultural labor opportunities from other households not affected by the dry spells. Labor-selling households will earn adequate incomes to purchase food that is readily available in the markets at reasonable prices.

• The food security situation in the northern region district of Karonga has improved. Most of the farmers whose cassava fields were inundated with flood waters have lost most of their cassava. The floods have boosted the residual moisture thereby supporting the planting of the second maize crop in the northern most part of Karonga which was flooded. The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) assessment team that visited the area reports that there is no need to continue humanitarian food assistance in the flood-affected areas.

• Harvests and sales of most cops are well underway. Tobacco prices have been poor but legumes are fetching good prices in the markets. Maize sales are reported to have started at a very low price but the Grain Traders and Processors Association (GTPA) has promised to help with monitoring prices of private traders.

• The MVAC is conducting a livelihoods-based food security assessment in areas that have been identified by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS) as having experienced some production shortfalls due to prolonged dry spells. Most of these areas are in the southern part of the country. However, some parts that were affected by late seasonal floods in the north will also be included in the assessments. Results from the assessments will be released in June and will guide decision makers on the current food security situation and will provide recommendations on the best responses to address any identified food insecurity.