Malawi Key Message Update, May 2019

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Food access improves across the country, yet localized food gaps still exist in the south

Key Messages

Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are widespread across the country with areas affected by heavy rain and flooding facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Some households in localized areas affected by heavy rains and flooding in March, especially in Southern Malawi, lost their livelihoods and crops. As a result, they have limited to no harvest, relying mainly on markets for food with below-average incomes and are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Overall, household food access for farming households has increased as the harvest continues. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development second round crop estimates released in April, production for most staples is most likely to be above average. Overall, national maize grain production is expected to be almost 10 percent above the five-year average. Production for rice, sorghum, and groundnuts is estimated to be 17 percent, 65 percent, and 20 percent, respectively, above the five-year average. However, it is anticipated that there will be localized areas with a below-average harvest as a result of flooding destroying crops.

Between March and April, national maize grain price average decreased due to increased food availability and access as farming households continue to harvest. The national maize price average in April was MWK 133 per kilogram, 13 percent below March prices. However, prices on average continue to be 20 percent above the five-year average and 51 percent above the same time last year.