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- Stable income opportunities associated with agriculture activities, ongoing poverty reduction and humanitarian programs, and the start of the green harvest are all expected to contribute to continued sufficient food access, resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes from November-March.
- Expected seasonal food price increases between December and February will increase food insecurity for the estimated poorest households with reduced purchasing power.
- Seasonal rains have been slow to start in the central and western part of the country and this could potentially delay the start of planting, which may impact yields for the Southern lowlands, and parts of the Foothills and Senqu River Valley livelihood zones.
|ZONE||CURRENT ANOMALIES||PROJECTED ANOMALIES|
|Southern lowlands, parts of Foothills and Senqu River Valley livelihood Zones||Slight delays in the start of the season in parts of the central and western region of the country could result in delayed planting.||Delays in planting my impact crop yield and or result in a delayed start of the green harvest.|
Although the start of the 2013/14 agricultural season has been near average across most parts of the country there are delays in the central and western parts which could potentially delay planting in those areas. The season started at a slow pace with land preparation and planting activities having started in some parts of the Northern lowlands and Senqu River Valley livelihood zones and isolated areas in the Mountains and Foothills livelihood zones. Demand for labor in planting and weeding activities is expected to remain normal with the continued expectation of normal to above normal rains. These opportunities are expected to provide incomes for poor households between December and February thereby stabilizing their purchasing power. The start of green crop consumption is expected to be normal will provide additional food sources for households between February and March.
As is typical for this time of the year, market supplies of maize meal and grain will be imported from South Africa between December and March. As the lean season progresses across the region, a gradual increasing trend in wholesale maize meal and maize grain prices in South Africa is expected due to increased demand and increasing fuel prices. These higher food prices in South Africa will likely further influence increasing seasonal food price trends in Lesotho. Local maize meal prices in Lesotho have been oscillating but are generally stable, so if price increases in South Africa are transmitted to Lesotho, this might potentially have an impact on the purchasing power of poorer households; which could likely result in worsening food security outcomes.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization is supporting 18,000 households by providing a package of wheat, maize and bean seeds, fertilizers, vegetable seeds and grazing vetch seeds for the for the 2013/14 agricultural season. The World Food Program (WFP) supported supplementary feeding and school feeding programs are expected to continue through December and into 2014.
Based on the above information, FEWS NET projects that Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes will continue through March 2014 throughout the country. This outlook would worsen in the event of any instability of staple food prices or the local currency (Maluti).
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.