Mozambique

Mozambique Food Security Update, April 2007

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This report covers the period from 3/23/2007 to 4/29/2007

Summary

As the seasonal harvest progresses, food availability and access is improving for most households, and food security is relatively satisfactory. In the flood affected areas of the central region, around 147,000 people will continue to benefit from emergency food and non food assistance until June. The results from the national Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) and the progress of the second season will determine if further assistance is necessary beyond June. In drought affected areas of the south, despite the poor first cropping season, most households are expected to be able to cope with the anticipated food deficits, and consumption patterns are considered adequate. Cassava and cow pea production may be able to compensate for poor maize production that was compromised by rainfall deficits.

Across the country, food prices are generally below average and declining, as is normal for this time of the year. Later in the marketing year, prices in southern Mozambique could begin to rise significantly as poor maize production and high maize prices in South Africa might encourage local millers and brewers to source their maize from Mozambican markets that are not normally used to meeting this demand.

Previous rainfall analyses have shown that the southern region received less than 70 percent of normal rainfall during the first half of the season (October-December 2006), negatively affecting the normal start and development of the main agricultural season. However, from the third decade of March, normal to above normal rains started occurring in much of the south and parts of the central region. These later rains have been favorable for second season planting and growing conditions. Agriculture inputs were made available in the areas affected by hazards this season, including the flood affected areas of the Zambeze valley, areas hit by cyclone Favio and some of the drought affected areas in the south. Input trade fairs (ITFs) implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with FAO and NGOs provided seeds and tools to affected households.

Beginning in late April, the Technical Secretariat of Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN) Vulnerability Assessment Group (Group) is leading the annual vulnerability assessment in the areas most affected by recent hazards including drought. The results will inform decision makers on priorities and interventions for the rehabilitation phase, as well as updated food security scenarios previously developed as new information will be available.

Seasonal Timeline