Mozambique Key Message Update, September 2017
Favorable food security conditions prevail across most of the country
With local markets well supplied and staple food prices still remaining near or below the five-year average, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected in all areas, except in parts of northwestern Sofala Province where Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist due to below-average production. As household stocks are expected to atypically deplete by the end of September, these central semiarid areas are projected to move to Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are also likely in October in nearby Mutarara, Doa, and Moatize districts in Tete and Tambara in Manica.
In an early September visit to some semiarid districts in Tete Province, FEWS NET confirmed there was above-average cereal production in Cahora Bassa, Marara, and Chiuta and average levels in Changara, which is facilitating poor household food access. However, in Moatize District, due to a combination of irregular rainfall distribution and a Fall Armyworm (FAW) infestation, local agricultural authorities estimated that 20 to 25 percent of main season planted crops had been lost.
The National Institute of Meteorology forecasted normal or normal tending to above-normal rainfall across most areas of the country for October to December 2017, except for Cabo Delgado and northern parts of Nampula and Niassa provinces. During January to March 2018, there is a likelihood for normal or normal tending to above-normal rainfall across most areas, except in Maputo, southern areas of Gaza and Inhambane, and northern portions of Cabo Delgado. As a result, the National Directorate of Water Resources Management projects a low or moderate risk of flooding during October to December in all river basins, but during January to March 2018, there is a moderate to high risk of floods in Incomáti, Save, Búzi, Pungoe, Savane, Licungo, Megaruma, and Messalo river basins.
Following the seasonal forecast in September, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA) predicted the 2017/18 agricultural season would be good. Given this announcement and the mostly favorable forecast, land preparation efforts are already underway in southern areas. Due to this year’s average to above-average harvest, most poor households have been able to retain significantly more seeds than they had over the past two seasons, and planting will begin in southern-most areas first, likely beginning in October.