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Limited harvest affects household ability to meet minimal food needs

  • Key Message Update
  • Lesotho
  • July 2019
Limited harvest affects household ability to meet minimal food needs

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The majority of households are marginally meeting minimum food needs but are unable to meet basic non-food needs due to limited incomes. Typically, poor households in Lesotho receive about 25 to 45 percent of annual caloric needs from own crop production. This year with the reduced harvest, these households are only able to cover about 15 to 25 percent of annual calories from crops. As a result, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely from July through August, with some households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Most households will likely start deteriorating to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in September.

    • Remittances from South Africa are currently a main income source. The LVAC Assessment conducted in May 2019 indicated that remittance income is becoming more common as a normal livelihood strategy in addition to a coping mechanism.Remittances are helping to mitigate the severity of the food security situation, as income from self-employment activities are below average. The LVAC assessment showed that crop selling decreased by about 64 percent while sale wool and mohair decreased by 70 percent compared to reference year levels.

    • Despite the below average harvest, maize meal market stocks are adequate and South African markets are expected to be able to fulfill any domestic deficits. Although maize meal prices are still stable, some gradual increases are being noticed. The coming lean season is likely to be earlier than normal and more severe than last year. Maize meal prices are therefore expected to increase to above average levels during this time, when almost all households will be dependent on market purchases.

    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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