Malawi Food Security Outlook Update, August 2021


Overall favorable food security conditions expected to persist throughout the projection period


• Favorable food security conditions and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to persist across most of the country throughout the projection period. However, Nsanje and Chikwawa districts in southern Malawi registered localized production reductions due to poor rainfall performance. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes are expected to emerge in these areas from September/October, with deterioration to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes expected in November/December 2021.

• Overall, staple maize grain prices continue to trend lower than the five-year average. This is largely due to two consecutive above-average production seasons leading to higher supplies at household, market, and national levels. In August, Malawi’s Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) began purchasing maize from farmers and traders at the government-set producer price of MWK 150 per kilogram. Given typical seasonal trends and ADMARC entering the market, maize grain prices are expected to begin increasing between August and September, with retail maize prices expected to trend close to—or slightly above—ADMARC’s purchasing price.

• A third wave of COVID-19 is subsiding in Malawi as of late August 2021, though control measures enacted in July have not yet been eased. Overall, disruptions to trade and income-earning in July and August are not expected to have been as severe as during the first wave in mid-2020. However, the restricted business and employment environment continues to reduce income-earning opportunities for low-income urban households. Given that less than 2 percent of Malawi’s population is fully vaccinated, COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to livelihoods and food security in the country, especially for low-income urban households.