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An early lean season expected in many parts of Southern Africa

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • September 2018
An early lean season expected in many parts of Southern Africa

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Parts of Southern Africa including DRC, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar are expected to experience an earlier than normal lean season as confirmed by recent FEWS NET assessments. The lean season, which typically begins in December, is expected to start as early as September/October this year. Currently, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present across much of Zimbabwe, Southern Madagascar, Southern Mozambique and Eastern DRC. The conflict in DRC is also a major driver of acute food insecurity.

    • Markets are generally well supplied with staple foods due to above-average regional supply for the 2018/19 marketing year. Regional trade, supported by above-average production in South Africa and good carryover stocks, is currently helping maintain stability on most markets.  Nonetheless, localized erratic supplies of staple food are prevailing in some areas such as Southern Zimbabwe. Maize prices exhibit mixed trends. In Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique prices are below or slightly above average, while in Zambia, Madagascar and DRC prices are well above average.

    • In the dry season, second season harvests were below average in Malawi and Mozambique, and in Southern Madagascar pasture and browse are atypically scarce. International and regional forecasts confirm that there is an increased likelihood of an El Niño event occurring during the 2018-2019 rainy season in Southern Africa. Forecasters indicate a high likelihood for below-average rainfall across the region during the rainy season. This will likely have negative impacts on the coming agriculture season both in terms of harvests and labor opportunities.

    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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