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Food security will deteriorate to Stressed between October-December

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Lesotho
  • July 2014
Food security will deteriorate to Stressed between October-December

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is expected from July to September as poor households continue to access food from own-produced stocks, supplemented by market purchases.
    • Although food prices are expected to remain stable, they will be significantly higher compared to the 2010 ‘normal’ year and the four-year average. Combined with low production and reductions of income from typical sources, purchasing power of poor households will be reduced particularly from October to December, with poor households expected to face livelihood protection deficits and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity outcomes.
    • The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment committee estimates close to 450,000 food insecure population in the 2014/15 consumption year and increase from 223,055 people estimated in the previous 2013/14 consumption year.

    ZONE

           CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Southern Lowlands, Foothills and Senque River Valley Livelihood Zones

    Significant production loss for sorghum estimated at 75 percent drop from last year and 73 percent from normal.

    Households will rely on market purchases earlier than normal.

    Southern Lowlands, Foothills and Senque River Valley Livelihood Zones

    Prices for staple maize are 220-290 percent above prices during same time in 2010, the reference year.

    Poor households will have significantly reduced purchasing power between October and December.

    Southern Lowlands, Foothills and Senque River Valley Livelihood Zones

    Remittances, construction labour has decreased mainly due to closure of local textiles factories and mining strikes and retrenchment from RSA

     


    Projected Outlook through December 2014

    The current national cereal production of 103,523 MT represents a 43 percent drop from the reference year production of 2008/9 production (Figure 1). In the Southern Lowlands, Senque River Valley and Foothills livelihood zones, frosts and poor seasonal rainfall resulted in 60-80 percent decreases in cereal production, which typically cover more than a third of the poor households’ annual food needs. The significant change and limited incomes will reduce food access for very poor and poor households as the consumption year progresses.

    Most poor rural households are currently meeting their food needs from own production stocks, strengthened by ongoing safety nets targeting 226,000 helping to maintain Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1).

    The market supply is expected to remain stable with an estimated 54 percent domestic shortfall expected to be filled with imports from South Africa. This import volume is less than the 70 percent average import in previous years. Food prices are expected to remain relatively stable with seasonal gradual increases expected between August and September due to increased demand towards the start of the lean season. While price trend seems favorable in the outlook they are significantly higher compared to reference year, ranging 220 to 290 percent above prices in 2009/10 consumption year.

    The areas most affected by reduced production as a result of poor seasonal rainfall are found in the Foothills, Southern Lowlands, and Senque River Valley Livelihood Zones. This reduced production is limiting access to a major source of income for poor households, who are also facing higher-than-normal prices, reduced on farm labor which typically covers 13-30 percent of their income, reduced remittances as a result of changes in the South African job market, and limited brewing opportunities due to low availability of household cereals.

    These factors are reducing the purchasing power of poor households in these areas, which will cause households to face livelihood protection deficits and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity from late October to December. Districts covered by the zones include: Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing, and Qacha’s Nek.

    The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) has completed the seasonal analysis and estimates 30.4 percent (447,760) of the rural population to be at risk of food insecurity during the 2014/15 consumption period, which is an increase of 100 percent from the previous year. There is no emergency humanitarian assistance currently planned outside ongoing safety nets. However, in the event that humanitarian assistance is provided, the projected food insecurity outcomes will change.
     

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. 2014 Cereal (Maize, Wheat, and Sorghum) production compared to reference year (2009).

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. 2014 Cereal (Maize, Wheat, and Sorghum) production compared to reference year (2009).

    Source: Lesotho Bureau of Statistics

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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.

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