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Most parts of the region expecting a significantly reduced harvest due to drought conditions

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • January 2016
Most parts of the region expecting a significantly reduced harvest due to drought conditions

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Most southern African countries including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, and Mozambique experienced a 30-60 day late start to the season. This has delayed planting and resulted in a significant decrease in planted area across countries. With poor and erratic rainfall as a result of the El Niño, the region is likely to experience significant reductions in crop production in 2016, a situation that will worsen food security during the 2016-17 consumption period.

    • Most countries in the region are likely to experience an extended lean season by at least a month due to the effects of late planting experienced across the region. The start of the green harvest, which normally provides alternative sources of food to most poor households, is expected to start around mid-March compared to the usual February. The main harvest will also likely start in April.

    • Regional cereal stocks in some surplus countries is limited. Zambia, which was the highest exporting country in the region last year, is left with exportable stocks of approximately 200,000 MT. The further decrease in exportable stocks in the region will likely result in significant price increases during the peak of the lean season in March, especially in Malawi and Zimbabwe, both deficit countries.

    • First round estimates for South Africa show that area planted for white and yellow maize is at levels that are 75 percent of average, and the projected production estimates are 64 percent of average. This decrease is a result of drought conditions experienced in a number of areas in the region. Similar reductions in area planted and projected production levels are expected in a number of regional countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, and  Madagascar.


    Figure 1


    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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