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Food access to remain stable throughout the country

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Lesotho
  • June 2014
Food access to remain stable throughout the country

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through September 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Household own stocks from own production, stable food prices, and normal access to income will contribute to households accessing adequate food sources through typical sources, resulting in Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes (IPC phase 1) throughout the country.
    • The crop production estimates of 103,526 MT and opening stocks of 61,008 MT, providing the country with 47 percent of its cereal needs for the 2013/14 consumption period. The country will require imports of around 187,000 MT to meet the rest of its needs, which is below the typical average of around 214,000 MT covered by commercial imports.
    • The ongoing safety net programming through school feeding and nutrition interventions by WFP are expected to further improve food access and diet for 226,000 people targeted for the projected period further, strengthening food security with projected food insecurity outcomes expected to remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through September.





    No current or projected anomalies of concern are expected in Lesotho.


    Projected outlook through September 2014

    The crop estimates by the Bureau of Statistics for the 2013/14 main season show that cereal production is 14 percent below last year and 19 percent below the five-year average (Figure 1).  Despite this reduced production, carry-over stocks are higher this year, resulting in slightly higher cereal availability for 2014/15 compared to the 2013/14 consumption year. This projected 53 percent difference (186,414 MT) between needs and domestic production is 1 percent less than import requirements last year. The reduction of production will result in poor households relying on market purchases to meet their food requirements earlier than normal and what was experienced last year.

    Most poor rural households are currently meeting their food needs from own production stocks coming from the recently completed harvest in June, resulting in Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase1). Ongoing safety nets through school feeding, nutrition and HIV programs by World Food Programme is currently reaching 212,252 of the targeted 226, 000 people for 2014, and are  expected to further strengthen dietary intake through to September. 

    Overall cereal availability after incorporating production and stocks (Table 1) indicate that cereal availability is generally similar to last consumption year with a slight improvement owing to improvement in opening stock balances, which effectively means the country import requirements are near last year’s levels. Considering the low staple food prices in South Africa and the retail maize meal trend experienced last season (Figure 2), where availability levels are comparable, the maize meal prices are expected to follow seasonal trends.  Gradual food price increases are expected between August and September due to the anticipated increased demand, as poor households deplete own stocks following a lower production compared to normal and previous seasons.

    Poor households are expected to obtain income through typical income sources that include threshing in July, self-employment in July to September, construction and domestic casual labor, and small livestock sales, which will enable them to purchase adequate food through September, despite their need to increase market purchases of food earlier than normal in August.

    Based on cereal availability through own production and supplementation through market purchases when purchasing power is favorable, most households are expected to meet their food needs resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through September, with ongoing safety nets strengthening dietary intake for children and clients on the program.

    The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) is still analyzing its seasonal assessment analysis for the 2014/15 consumption year, where official figures on numbers facing food insecurity will be provided.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year


    Table 1.  Cereal balance sheet for the 2014/15 consumption period (‘000 MT).

    Figure 2

    Table 1. Cereal balance sheet for the 2014/15 consumption period (‘000 MT).

    Source: Lesotho Bureau of Statistics

    Figure 2: Price trend 2013/14 compared to current 2014/15 consumption year

    Figure 3

    Figure 2: Price trend 2013/14 compared to current 2014/15 consumption year


    Figure 4

    Figure 1. Cereal production comparison of the 2014 production to averages, previous year (2013) and reference year (2009).

    Source: Lesotho Bureau of Statistics

    Figure 5


    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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