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- Normal income opportunities, ongoing safety-net programming, and the start of the harvest are expected to contribute to continued Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes through June.
- According to the latest GIEWS food price data, food prices are at their peak as the lean season continues. In the high demand areas of Maseru, Southern lowlands and the Mountains livelihood zones, higher prices are constraining the purchasing power of poor households. However, ongoing safety net targeting and the start of the main harvest are expected to improve food security outcomes.
- Although current cumulative rainfall has been favorable the seasonal forecast based on the current Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI) shows a likelihood of below normal seasonal performance in comparison to average and last year’s performance. This could result in reduced production potential this season.
|Zone||Current Anomalies||Projected anomalies|
|Senqu River Valley, Northern Lowlands, and parts of the Mountains||Although rainfall improved in January and February in these areas, field observations and the WRSI anomaly shows that the conditions of current crops are mostly average to mediocre. These conditions may hamper crop growth and maturity given that most crops are at the tasseling stage, which require adequate water to ensure optimal growth.||If the current WRSI anomalies continue, there is a likelihood of normal to below normal 2013/14 seasonal performance, which is likely to result in average or slightly below average production.|
- Rainfall improved between January and February and most parts of the country continues to receive good rains, however the late start of season and high evaporation levels has limited soil moisture. Since most planting was completed in December and January, most crops are still at the vegetative or tasseling stages, which require adequate water to ensure optimal growth.
- Remote sensing data shows that crop conditions for most parts of the country are ranging from average to mediocre (Figure 1).
- Imported maize meal prices have remained relatively stable with gradual increases observed in high demand areas of Maseru and Mokhotlong markets (Figure 2). These stable prices are improving poor household purchasing power slightly, however it should be noted that current prices are 20-40 percent higher when compared to the five-year average. The start of the main harvest and reduced household demand will likely reduce maize prices between May and June.
- The World Food Program (WFP) emergency operations (EMOP) program ended in December, however the WFP is still implementing country programs (i.e. school feeding, nutrition, etc) that are expected to reach approximately 180,000 people in 2014.
- The start of green consumption, the upcoming main harvest, and ongoing safety-net programs, will likely result in stable food access for poor households and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food security outcomes for the remainder of the outlook period. This outlook would change in the event of any staple price changes (particularly between February and March) and changes in rainfall distribution this season.
About Remote Monitoring
In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices.
Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year
Source: FEWS NET
Figure 1. Imported Maize Meal Prices (Loti/10kgs)
Source: GIEWS and FAO
Figure 2. WRSI as of February 10, 2014 compared to last season.
Source: FEWS NET and USGS
In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.