Food security conditions over most parts of Southern Africa remain satisfactory and conditions are expected to remain so throughout the Outlook period. The projected average to above-average maize harvests are assessed to be sufficient to meet the region’s requirements for the next six months and beyond.
Current reports indicate that household food access has improved and increased on-farm food supplies have eased the pressure on local markets. Prices have stabilized, and in some cases, started dropping.
The total regional cereal availability is expected to decline from the levels reached last season. This is mainly due to slight production declines in some countries that were impacted by floods and/or dry spells.
In Malawi and Zambia, the above average maize harvests will be complemented by large carryover stocks on account of the bumper harvests from the past two seasons. South Africa on the other hand is expecting a 74 percent reduction on its maize carryover (from 2.34 million to 614,000 MT), but with a 7 percent increase in the current harvest (over last season) the country will still have a sizable exportable surplus in 2012/13.
Despite generally satisfactory national food availability, localized areas of concern exist where shocks to livelihoods have compromised food availability and access. These include parts of southern Malawi, the semi-arid districts of southern and central Mozambique, parts of the southern provinces of Zimbabwe, and most parts of Lesotho. Food will have to be moved from surplus to deficit areas, imported commercially (formally or informally), or distributed as food aid to cover the needs of populations facing food shortages.