Malawi

Malawi Key Message Update, November 2017

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Low staple prices maintained by above average supplies

Key Messages

  • Most areas across the country are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes. However, FEWS NET projects that populations of > 20 percent will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in Nsanje, Chikwawa, Balaka and Mwanza districts of southern Malawi during the months of November 2017 through March 2018, due to the impacts of localized dry spells and pests on crops last season. The results from the 2017 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) also projects similar outcomes in the four districts listed above, in addition to smaller populations in 16 other districts. The districts are planned to be targeted with assistance between December 2017 and March 2018.
  • In the presence of assistance that is planned, funded, and likely, FEWS NET expects Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) outcomes in Nsanje and Balaka between December 2017 and March 2018. In Chikwawa and Mwanza districts, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected between now and January 2018, but once assistance begins in these areas, outcomes will improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) from February to March.
  • National and local maize supplies continue to be above average. High volumes of maize grain are reported to be informally flowing into Malawi from neighboring Mozambique and Zambia. The Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) and the Strategic Grain Reserve are also reporting above average stocks and purchases, bringing total national stocks to approximately 200,000 MT. With the start of the season, farmers are releasing substantial amounts of their maize grain in order to sell it for cash.
  • According to the findings of the FEWS NET market assessment in early to mid-November 2017, the high cereal supplies in the face of reduced demand have depressed maize prices further and prices have decreased or stabilized to around MWK 70-105 /kg for the past four months. This is atypical as maize prices normally register sharp increases as the country enters the lean period. The FEWS NET findings are in agreement with WFP mVAM report for October 2017 which recorded average maize prices in its monitored markets at MWK 97/kg, and the Ministry of Agriculture AMIS (Agriculture Market Information System) data which recorded national average prices at MWK 102/kg.