Malawi

Malawi Food Security Outlook Update, June 2019 to January 2020

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Situation Report
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Localized poor harvests will most likely lead to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) at the start of the lean season

Key Messages

Overall, national food production is average to above average. According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s second round crop estimates, the country will most likely have above average production of key food crops such as cereals and tubers. The Ministry of Agriculture currently estimates that the national production of maize will be about 10 percent above the five-year average. However, localized production shortfalls exist in areas hit by heavy rains and flooding, especially in southern Malawi.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s second round crop estimates, national food production is anticipated to be average to above average. Key food crop production such as for cereals and tubers is most likely to be above average production. The Ministry of Agriculture currently estimates that the national production of maize will be about 10 percent above the five-year average. However, localized production shortfalls exist in areas hit by heavy rains and flooding, especially in southern Malawi.

Despite overall national crop production expected to be slightly above average, prices for the maize staple continue to be higher than normal. This is the result of localized production shortfalls in southern Malawi atypically increasing market demand. Current and projected prices are estimated to be about 20 percent above the five-year average and much higher than last year’s prices. This will likely lead to reduced food access for low income households.

Overall food security outcomes in central and most of northern Malawi are favorable with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes present and anticipated to prevail through January. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are most likely for southern Malawi districts in the post-harvest period due to below average harvest and income with atypically high market prices. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are anticipated to emerge in some southern districts starting in October 2019 and persist through January.