Maize supplies continue to be tight during the final months of the 2015/16 marketing year
Most of the country is facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) acute food insecurity outcomes, in the presence of humanitarian assistance. Poor households that are not receiving humanitarian assistance are experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes due to livelihood protection deficits because of high prices and lower than normal earnings from agricultural labor due to El-Niño induced drought conditions in the central and southern region.
The magnitude of maize price increases this year is atypical. In January, prices ranged from 190 – 243 MWK/kg. In comparison to last year, the percentage increase is between 85 – 155 percent higher. The prices of maize grain are expected to continue trending significantly above average for the entirety of the Outlook period. In the absence of additional imports, subsidized maize supplies through ADMARC depots are estimated to run out in March, about one month before the harvest is expected to begin.
Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) food security outcomes are only expected to continue through March, in the presence of assistance. There is the possibility that assistance will also continue in April, but additional information is still forthcoming. By April, in the absence of any assistance, food insecure districts in the central and northern regions of the country will be in IPC Phase 2 and outcomes in the south will deteriorate to IPC Phase 3. These outcomes will improve after the harvest in May, and Phase 1 and Phase 2 outcomes are expected in areas from June to September.