Favorable harvest prospects if rainfall distribution remains good through March
Average national retail maize prices continued to be high in January and were 89 percent above the five-year average and 58 percent higher than last year’s price levels. FEWS NET expects these price increases to continue through the lean season. When the harvest arrives in April, prices will decrease but are expected to remain above both the five-year average and the previous year’s level throughout the remainder of the outlook period.
With nearly all resources secured, humanitarian assistance is currently reaching 1.97 million food insecure people and is expected to continue as planned through March. Households in 15 of the 16 districts receiving assistance are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through March, while households in Chikhwawa district are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to high levels of mandatory sharing of rations and extremely limited migratory labor.
Between April and June, all households will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes as harvests become available for consumption.
The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DoCCMS) reported that since the start of the season through early February, normal to above normal rainfall has been achieved across the country and this is likely to continue throughout February, increasing chances of flooding in flood-prone areas.