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Improvements in 2017 harvests results in significant staple price decreases

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • June 2017
Improvements in 2017 harvests results in significant staple price decreases

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Households are increasingly consuming their own produced crops and most areas in the region are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes. Some exceptions remain in eastern parts of the DRC, and most of Tanzania where Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist due to the drought conditions which affected production, as well as conflict in the DRC. These outcomes are expected to continue in these areas through September.

    • As is typical during the harvesting period, demand for maize purchases continues to decline across the region and has resulted in significant price decreases in some countries in the region. Mozambique is a typical example where May prices have generally decreased by between 57 and 73 percent and similar price trends have also been reported in Malawi and Zimbabwe. There are concerns that an oversupply of maize markets will result in small gains for poor households that typically sell maize grain for their livelihood, especially when compared to production costs they incurred. 

    • Improvements in the 2017 harvests across the region continue to present income earning opportunities for poor households that are currently engaged in harvesting activities. Average levels of labor opportunities and income are expected to continue through July because harvesting began slightly later than normal in some countries due to late rains. Between July and September, poor households are also expected to get additional incomes through gardening activities. 

    • Winter cropping is currently underway in parts of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho, South Africa, and Mozambique. Prospects for these crops remain positive because of the favorable moisture conditions this season. Apart from further increasing local and household food supplies, winter harvesting activities are also expected to provide labor opportunities for poor households.

    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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