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Average cereal production expected to maintain good food access

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Lesotho
  • March 2014
Average cereal production expected to maintain good food access

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through June 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Stable purchasing power, continued green consumption, the start of main harvest and associated labor opportunities, are expected to contribute to continued Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes through June.
    • The 2013/14 agriculture season has been characterized by near normal rainfall quantity and distribution, which is likely to result in average production in most parts of the country. This will be a second consecutive year of good harvest and will positively impact household food security.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Northern Lowlands and Mountains

    The crop condition in some parts of the zones are poor compared to average due to abnormally low soil moisture.

    If conditions persist, production in these areas is likely to be slightly below normal, impacting levels of surplus from the zone.

     


    Projected outlook through June 2014

    Seasonal WRSI data show average to above-average current crop conditions for most parts of the country.  However, conditions are below average in pocket areas in Northern lowlands, Foothills and Mountains livelihood zone in the northern, central, and north eastern areas (Figure 1) due to abnormally low soil moisture.

    Green consumption has commenced in most areas for early crops while late crops are at tasseling stage. With normal to above normal rains still expected until April the current moisture conditions will likely be sustained and improved in most parts of the country. This will be good particularly for crop maturity of the late planted crops and areas with limited soil moisture, leading to good production prospects.

    The 2013/14 consumption year has seen improved food security across the country following a good harvest. Prices of imported maize meal have remained stable, and staple food prices are expected to gradually decline with start of main harvest following seasonal trends (Figure 2) although they will remain high owing to inflationary pressure caused by the depreciation of the South African rand.

    Ongoing green consumption, start of the main harvest, and 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 changes in rainfall distribution and temperatures between March and April, which could change production prospects for this season.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Seasonal Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI) for maize, March 2014

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Seasonal Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI) for maize, March 2014

    Source:

    Figure 2. Maize meal prices, imported retail and import cost in South Africa 2013-14

    Figure 3

    Figure 2. Maize meal prices, imported retail and import cost in South Africa 2013-14

    Source:

    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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