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Abnormal dryness across the region affecting cropping activities and agriculture labor

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • December 2018
Abnormal dryness across the region affecting cropping activities and agriculture labor

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The depletion of household food stocks, below-average incomes, and increase in market prices will likely lead to an increase in the number of households experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in areas of Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe through at least early 2019. Areas affected by conflict in DRC are also anticipated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The rest of the region will likely continue experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes.

    • The start of the 2018/19 rainy season has been delayed across the region, negatively impacting agricultural activities. In most areas of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique, the start of the season was delayed by 10 days, although a 30 to 40-day delay of season has been noted in parts of southern DRC and Lesotho. Additionally, parts of South Africa, western Zimbabwe, southern Angola, western Madagascar, Zambia, and Lesotho continue to experience anomalously high daytime temperatures negatively impacting cropping conditions.

    • Despite a delay in the season, agricultural activities are ongoing and households are engaged in planting. In a normal year, better-off households pay for labor through in-kind means including maize grain, slightly improving poor households’ food access. However, better-off households are withholding grain from the 2017/18 harvest as they anticipate a poor season. This will likely decrease in-kind payments poor households normally receive through agriculture labor.

    • In DRC, efforts to manage the spread of Ebola in Ituri and North Kivu have been negatively affected by conflict. Some northern parts of Mozambique have also experienced sporadic armed attacks. For both Mozambique and DRC, the likely continuation of these events is anticipated to negatively affect agricultural activities. Zimbabwe’s inflation increased to a nine-year high coupled with significant price increases on commodities are likely affecting poor households’ market access.

    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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