FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
• Harvesting of 2021 main cereal crops is about to conclude and production is forecast at near-average level
• Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 forecast at near-average level
• Food prices increased amid depreciation of national currency
• Worsening conflict and effects of COVID-19 pandemic deteriorate food security in 2021
Cereal production forecast at near-average level in 2021
Harvesting of the 2021 cereal crops, mainly maize, is nearly complete. Cereal outputs in central and southern provinces are anticipated at average to above-average levels, while outputs in northern provinces, particularly in Cabo Delgado, are expected at a reduced level. FAO’s forecast of the national cereal output stands at a near-average level of 2.8 million tonnes in 2021, 5 percent below the high level in 2020, reflecting the negative effects of weather hazards and the conflict on plantings and crop yields.
Weather conditions during the last quarter of 2020 were generally conducive for planting operations and crop establishment in the main cereal producing central provinces. Between December 2020 and February 2021, torrential rains and strong winds due to the landfall of tropical storm “Chalane” and cyclones “Eloise” and “Guambe” caused flash floods and resulted in localized damage to standing crops in coastal areas. In central inland areas, heavy rains boosted soil moisture levels and supported crop development. In the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, above-average cumulative rainfall benefited crops in interior areas, while drought conditions followed by localized floods affected the coastal areas, prompting farmers to replant crops. In northern areas, reduced rainfall amounts between October 2020 and February 2021 curtailed planting operations and yields are expected at average levels. In particular, in Cabo Delgado Province, a well below-average cereal harvest is expected as farming activities have been severely disrupted by the ongoing conflict