Mozambique Food Security Outlook Update December 2019
Following erratic rainfall, planting is underway throughout most of the country
• Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes prevail in most southern and central areas as humanitarian food assistance continues to mitigate worse outcomes. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is present in Moatize district in Tete, due to low levels of food assistance, and in conflict affected areas in Cabo Delgado. These outcomes are expected to persist through the end of the lean season in March.
• Due to two consecutive years of below-average production in southern semiarid areas, most poor households were unable to keep some of their harvested grain to be used as seeds for this year as normal. Similarly, the devastating floods caused by cyclone Idai in the central region have reduced households’ ability to retain seeds for the current season. Certified seed distribution is taking place in the central and northern regions, however, remains well below the needs.
• Maize grain prices increased between 6 and 31 percent from October to November and were 40 to 75 percent above the five-year average. Above average maize grain prices persist due to below average market supply. Abnormally high prices of maize grain are constraining the purchasing power of the most poor households who were affected by this year ́s shocks and lost much or all of their annual food production and are reliant on market purchases for food.
• Rainfall had a slow start in the semiarid areas, particularly in the interior of Gaza and Inhambane provinces and southern parts of Sofala and Manica provinces where cumulative rainfall for October 1 to December 10 is below average. Land preparation and planting is ongoing although at below average rates in the southern region and near average in the central and northern regions. Localized heavy rain in Maputo and Sofala provinces in November caused localized flooding in urban and peri-urban areas of Beira and Maputo cities, mainly caused by poor drainage systems.
• Emergency humanitarian assistance continues to be carried out in cyclone, drought, and conflict affected areas and is covering nearly 70 percent of the total needs throughout the country.
Although food assistance is covering most households affected by cyclone Idai in the central region of the country, pellagra cases are still increasing, and this may partly be linked to inadequate intake of micronutrients, specifically Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Pellagra cases have been mainly reported in Sofala and Manica provinces.