Food Security Outlook July through December 2011


Key Messages

• Although the 2010/11 agriculture season was affected by a number of shocks including localized floods during the first half of the season and mid‐ season long dry spells, national staple food availability is estimated to have increased, as indicated by the recently released preliminary production estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture. These figures indicate that 2010/11 cereal production (maize, sorghum, millet, and rice) was about 2.91 million MT, an increase of 4.6 percent over last year and 21.5 percent above the five‐year average.

• Acute food insecurity conditions are currently minimal throughout the country as the majority of rural households, including those in the identified areas of concern, are able to meet basic food needs. These areas are located in the country’s semi‐arid areas and include the districts of Changara, Chemba, Mutarara, and Machaze in the central region and Massangena, Chicualacuala, Chigubo, Mabalane, Mabote, Funhalouro, and Panda in the south.

• From August to September, food stocks in the areas of concern may start dwindling for some poor and very poor households that were affected by dry spells and localized floods. Market purchases will fill the food gaps though high prices will limit the purchasing power of poor and very poor households. The very poor and poor households will likely face stressed food insecurity conditions (IPC Phase 2).

• The period October to December marks the first half of the lean season. In the areas of concern, most households, especially the very poor and poor, will have exhausted their food stocks and will begin to employ coping strategies that are typical for this period of the year in order to meet their food needs. However, the onset of rains in November normally provides a variety of wild foods that augment food supplies until food crops from the green harvest become available in February. Stressed food insecurity conditions (IPC Phase 2) will likely continue during this period.