Malawi Food Security Outlook, December 2018 to May 2019
Crisis (IPC Phase3) outcomes will likely persist through the lean season
Most southern and some central districts are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes due to below-average cereal and cash crops from the 2017/18 production season. Poor households also have below-average incomes as most income earning opportunities are agriculture and depend on rainfall, which has to date been well below normal. In some northern and central areas, where poor households are unable to afford many basic non-food needs, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes exist. The rest of the country is in Minimal (IPC Phase 1).
The start of the 2018/19 rainfall season has been characterized by below-average and erratic rainfall, especially in central and southern areas. This has resulted in limited agricultural activities, lowering labor opportunities in this sector. Forecasts for below-average rainfall through the remainder of the season in the southern half of the country will likely result in continued below-average agriculture labor opportunities for poor households who depend on this as an income source to meet their basic non-food and food needs during the lean season.
National maize grain prices will likely follow normal season trends, although above last year’s prices. Prices will trend slightly above the five-year average. However, some districts in southern Malawi are already starting to report price increases of maize grain as the national demand will increase through the lean season.