Poor households in Chemba District are likely facing Crisis outcomes
Despite the peak of the lean season, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to persist countrywide, except in the interior and remote areas of Chemba District in Sofala Province where poor households are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In nearby districts of Mutarara, Doa, and Moatize in Tete Province, Caia in Sofala Province, and Tambara in Manica Province, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to continue until the April harvest.
The onset of rains was delayed across most of the south and in parts of the central region, particularly in Zambézia Province and northern portions of Sofala and Manica provinces, and planting has just started in these areas. On the contrary, in much of the north and the rest of the central region, the rains started on time or earlier than expected, leading to planted crops ranging from emergence in the north to vegetative stages in the central region.
Staple food prices, particularly maize grain, are following an atypical trend for this time of the year, facilitating greater household food access. In most monitored markets in the central and northern regions, maize grain prices have been atypically decreasing or remaining stable. From October to November, maize grain prices only marginally increased in two markets. A recent FEWS NET market assessment has confirmed above-average maize grain availability and abnormally low prices.
Currently, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes persist countrywide, except in Chemba District in northwest Sofala Province. Poor households, particularly in the interior and remote semiarid portions of the District, are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes due to dry spells that affected 2016/17 main season production and the unprecedented mice infestation that led to a below-average second season. These poor households have limited opportunities for self-employment to earn income as they cannot easily access the Zambezi River for fishing or the major road to sell their products. Poor households, who still have livestock, are resorting to distressed sales for needed cash for food purchases, while others are consuming wild foods at above-average levels.
Besides in Chemba, there are other poor households in other districts facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) though in less proportion (less than 20 percent of the total district population), with the highest concentration in the districts facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, including in parts of nearby districts of Mutarara, Doa, and Moatize in Tete Province, Caia in Sofala Province, and Tambara in Manica Province. Based on findings from a recent market assessment carried out in late November, FEWS NET has revised the classification of Changara in Tete and Guro in Manica from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (IPC Phase 1). Access to food from local markets is much better than previously anticipated due to the above-average availability of maize grain and other staple food commodities at below-normal prices, which is facilitating food access.