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Crops in drought-affected areas did not recover despite improved February and March rains

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • April 2018
Crops in drought-affected areas did not recover despite improved February and March rains

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite improved rainfall in several areas in the region, crops affected by earlier dryness and drought conditions never recovered. Production prospects for the 2018 season in affected areas including southern and central Mozambique, Zimbabwe, southern Madagascar, and southern Malawi are very low because of below-normal yields and crop failure. The extent of the production losses will be released following the completion of ongoing and scheduled crop assessments.  

    • Early consumption of green foods normally improves household food diversity in the region during this time of the year, but this year food diversity remains poor in drought-affected areas. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) area outcomes will persist and are projected in parts of Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Between June and September, a surge in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes among poor households is expected because the main harvest will only temporarily improve household food availability, but in some cases not at all. Similar outcomes are expected to persist in Kasai and Tanganyika provinces of the DRC due to conflict. Most structurally-surplus parts of the region will continue experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes for the remainder of the outlook period, with the possibility of some areas transitioning to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from September onwards.

    • In most monitored markets, staple prices remain below last year and the five-year average. However, localized monthly price increases for maize grain have been reported in some markets in Malawi and Mozambique. For Malawi the increase has been linked to speculative behavior by traders due to anticipation of a decrease in production. For Mozambique the increase is linked to an increase in demand for market purchases in Tete market. Maize grain prices in Zimbabwe remain stable. Markets impacted by conflict in the DRC continue to experience relatively high staple prices. Due to an expected decline in staple production in most countries, maize grain prices are expected to start increasing in August.

    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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