Malawi Food Security Outlook Update September 2013

Situation Report
Originally published
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Unusually low maize market supplies; atypical price increases persist for second year in a row


  • Households have faced atypically high staple food prices since the start of the 2013/14 consumption season in April. Food prices are unlikely to decrease given current indications of lower than estimated production levels in the central and northern region. Currently maize supplies are still available in all districts across the country, but supplies are much lower than normal. Maize availability is expected to be constrained as the lean season begins earlier than normal in October.

  • FEWS NET has observed increased informal imports of maize from Mozambique and Zambia compared to 2012. The trade patterns have mitigated some of the effects of atypically low market supplies during the first half of the 2013/14 marketing year.

  • Limited financial resources and uncompetitive purchase prices have limited institutional maize purchases and stockholdings by the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC).

  • Poor household cereal supplies are low or non‐existent in areas where the 2012/13 harvests were affected by drought and flooding. Most poor households in these localized areas in the northern, central, and southern regions of the country currently depend market purchases for their basic food needs and are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to higher food prices and limited labor opportunities. Between October and December many of these households are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).