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Increasing income opportunities associated with agriculture activities, the start of green consumption in February/March, ongoing poverty reduction programs and a gradual increase in food prices are all expected to contribute to continued sufficient food access resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes from October-March.
The SARCOF rainfall outlook forecast indicates increased chances of normal to above normal rainfall in both the first and second half of the season and a near average start of season across the country. This presents favorable conditions for crop growth and maturity as well as the availability of agriculture related casual work.
No significant anomalies of concern observed.
The start of agriculture season is typically associated with labor opportunities for poor households through land preparation, planting and weeding activities. With the likelihood of normal to above normal rains and a near average start of the 2013/14 season, labor opportunities are expected to be normal and this will stabilize poor household purchasing power between October and February. Additionally the start of green consumption is expected to be normal, further improving food access between February and March.
The intensification of the lean season between November and January will likely result in an increase in demand for staple food on the market, most of which is imported from South Africa. In South Africa food prices are on the rise due to slight increases in food inflation rates between July and August and increasing fuel prices; this will likely influence food prices in Lesotho. However given stable market supplies and current declining inflation rate trends, maize meal price increases are not expected to exceed the typical seasonal range.
Ongoing humanitarian assistance by WFP and partners under the Emergency Operation (EMOP 200499) will end in late December 2013. Safety-net programming through school feeding, food/cash for assets and social grants are expected to continue through March 2014, and the number of households benefiting from social grants is expected to increase from 10,000 to 25,000 in 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).
Seasonal calendar in a typical year
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.