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Rainfall in May improves Msimu and Masika harvest prospects

  • Key Message Update
  • Tanzania
  • May 2017
Rainfall in May improves Msimu and Masika harvest prospects

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite early season rainfall deficits, favorable rainfall in May has increased Msimu and Masika harvest prospects, and production is now expected to be slightly above average. However, bimodal areas of northern Tanzania, including Arusha, Kagera, Kilimanjaro, and Tanga, are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until the arrival of the Masika harvest in July, and some very poor households will face food consumption gaps until this time. Food access will likely improve slightly in June, though, as favorable Msimu production in southern unimodal highlands will lead to lower national food prices, improving household food access.

    • Staple food prices remain well above average across key markets in northeastern areas. In April, the retail price of maize was 120 percent above average in Arusha. Between March and April, the price of maize declined six percent in Mbeya, which is located in the surplus-producing southern highlands, but remains 87 percent above average. The May to August Msimu harvest is anticipated to increase national cereal supplies, leading to lower prices throughout the country. Additionally, if regional trade is unrestricted, Tanzania’s production is also expected to lower regional maize prices. 

    • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that as of April 30, northwestern Tanzania is hosting 311,110 refugees, 238,306 of whom are from Burundi and were displaced after April 2015. While funding constraints led to a 40 percent reduction in food rations in April, funding allowed for a 90 percent ration in May. USAID’s Food for Peace has contributed $17.3 million, but large funding shortfalls remain. Most refugees are Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) in the presence of humanitarian assistance. Those who arrived after Maiska planting and have fewer income-earning opportunities or access to production are likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).  

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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