Reduced yields expected in the southern half of Zambia due to drought conditions
Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes continue in most parts of the country and these outcomes are expected from February to September. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes have persisted in parts of the southwest since August 2015. Households in this area are hard hit by El Niñoinduced drought conditions and are already exhibiting stress signals, including migration to Namibia in search of labor and desperate livestock sales. Food security outcomes in this area are likely to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and September.
Many households are relying on industrially processed meal. Maize prices remain high and are expected to be above the five-year average from February through September due to atypically high market demand, an extension of the lean period, depreciation of the local currency, poor seasonal progress, as well as below-average production prospects for the 2015/16 season. Zambia’s formal maize exports continue to decline as maize surplus volumes diminish.
Current stock levels are low, and will result in significantly below-average opening stocks for the 2016/17 marketing year. Despite this, the upcoming harvest in May and FRA maize stocks are adequate to meet national needs through the next marketing season that ends in April 2017.