Malawi Food Security Outlook Update March 2013
The food security situation in the south is expected to improve as harvests begin
In February, national retail maize prices continue to rise. Average prices were 216 percent above the five-year average and 211 percent higher than last year’s price levels. Since harvests have already begun in some parts of the country, prices are expected to decrease but are likely to remain above last year and current year levels.
Spot price checks in markets in southern Malawi showed that by mid - March some informal maize imports from Mozambique has started flowing into Malawi, and this coupled with the start of harvests has started relaxing retail maize prices in Chikhwawa and Nsanje districts.
In the south there is an increased availability of maize, beans, sorghum, millet and green leafy vegetables from own production in the month of March. Consumption of these foods is filling food gaps in southern Malawi, including Chikhwawa district. During March, FEWS NET expects mainly Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity outcomes for poor households in the south that are currently receiving humanitarian assistance, including Chikhwawa district.
The food security situation will continue to improve as food and cash crops continue to be harvested. Sale of cash crops is expected to allow most rural households to meet their livelihood protection and food needs, and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes are expected across the country between April and June (Figure 2).