Skip to main content

Early reliance on staple market purchases and limited supplies signals the start of the lean season

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • September 2022
Early reliance on staple market purchases and limited supplies signals the start of the lean season

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Food security throughout much of the region is expected to deteriorate in the coming months as households' own-produced food stocks decline, and an increasing number of households are market reliant with lower-than-normal purchasing power. Southern Madagascar is expected to face the most severe outcomes in the region, with Emergency (IPC Phase 4) expected in late 2022 and into early 2023 due to limited ability for households to access food and limited coping capacity due to the erosion of livelihoods from multiple droughts. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely starting in October across areas of southern Madagascar, Malawi, and Mozambique, as well as areas of Angola, and much of Zimbabwe, due to compounding impacts of poor 2021/22 rainfall, tropical cyclones, and domestic economic declines. Furthermore, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in conflict-affected areas of northern Mozambique and eastern DRC.

    • Staple food prices remain high and generally increasing across several FEWS NET monitored markets in Southern Africa. The high and rising prices are due to high market demand, lower than average market supply, and high global food and fuel prices. Inflation remains elevated in Zimbabwe and Malawi due to generally poor macroeconomic conditions. In Zimbabwe, July maize prices are about 400 percent above the same time last year. Maize grain prices in Malawi and rice and cassava prices in Madagascar are over 200 percent higher than the five-year average. 

    • Conflict continues to disrupt livelihood activities and drive displacement in eastern DRC and Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique. Based on OCHA reports, nearly 900,000 people have been displaced in areas of North and South Kivu, Ituri, Tanganyika, and Kasai since the start of 2022. In the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique, IOM estimates that around 51,000 people were reported to be on the move between June and August due to conflict. Across both countries, conflict is disrupting agricultural and income-earning activities. 

    • Based on international climate forecasts, La Nina conditions are expected to persist into early 2023, with La Nina conditions associated with favorable rainfall in most of Southern Africa. Most areas, including Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Malawi, have increased chances of receiving average to above average rainfall through January. This raises good production prospects for the upcoming 2022/23 agricultural season. Although, in southern Madagascar, extreme northern parts of Mozambique and Malawi, and southwestern parts of Angola, there are increased chances of below-average rainfall, which may cause a late start of the season and could potentially have implications on the planting and the agricultural season.

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top