Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist across Mozambique driven by the conflict and displacement in Cabo Delgado, below-average rainfall in the intermediate and coastal areas of Nampula and Cabo Delgado, flooding, and damage from tropical storm Chalane and cyclone Eloise. Recent attacks in Cabo Delgado, particularly in Palma district, are likely to drive further displacement. However, with the start of the main annual harvest in April, household food security in the semi-arid drought-affected central and southern Mozambique areas is expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1). In areas affected by flooding, households with seed stocks are expected to recover through post-flood planting. In urban and peri-urban areas, COVID-19 restrictions continue to reduce daily income for many poor households, with the most affected likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
In the intermediate and coastal zones of Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces, erratic and significantly below-average rainfall from November 2020 to mid-January 2021 and abnormally high temperatures resulted in several unsuccessful planting attempts. Most very poor households have exhausted their food reserves, and the most vulnerable households are engaging in consumption-based coping strategies, including the consumption of wild foods. Less vulnerable households are selling available poultry or small ruminants for market food purchases. An increasing number of households are expected to engage in coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3), such as relying on wild foods to fill consumption gaps without humanitarian assistance. Despite near-average rainfall since late January, households are not expected to recover a harvest for the 2020/2021 agricultural season.
Despite crop damage from flooding, irregular rainfall in northeastern Mozambique, and typical pests and disease damage, the national harvest is expected to be near-average. Preliminary data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) indicates that 226,000 farmers and around 448,000 hectares (7 percent of the planted area) were affected by tropical storm Chalane, cyclone Eloise, and flooding from heavy rainfall across Mozambique. Most crop losses were in low-lying and riverside areas. Across Mozambique, most crops are in the flowering crop stage, except for the southern region and part of Tete province, where crops are in the maturation stage. In the coastal areas of Nampula and Cabo Delgado, crops are in the vegetative phase.
From January to February, maize grain monthly prices have remained stable or have slightly declined in anticipation of the upcoming harvest. However, in the Pemba market of Cabo Delgado, there was a 33 percent increase in maize grain prices, reflecting the abnormal increase in demand and a below-average supply driven by the conflict. February maize grain prices were 10-48 percent above the five-year average, with the largest change recorded in the Pemba market. As typical, maize meal and rice prices remained stable from January to February 2021 across most monitored markets, approximately 10 and 14 percent above the five-year average for maize meal and rice, respectively.