Food security conditions have improved across the country as the green harvest has increased household food supply and variety. Consequently, demand for maize on the market in rural areas has significantly reduced with increased reliance on the new harvest. Increased household food availability is supporting decreasing maize market prices benefiting market-dependent urban households.
In the first part of the outlook period from April through June, food security is expected to continue improving given the increasing supply of food at both the household level and the market level as the new harvest becomes available. This situation is expected to hold even for areas which were of concern in the past few months such as Luangwa district. Overall, most households will not face acute food insecurity in the outlook period as the good production expected, in addition to the large carry over stock from the 2009/10 production, will guarantee relatively low maize prices.
Maize prices stabilized in March having reached their peak and are expected to start steeply falling in the April through June period in response to increased market supply and reducing demand. The prices are expected to remain relatively stable during the second part of the outlook period, July through September, and food security will remain stable.