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Abnormally high food prices threaten household food security

  • Key Message Update
  • Malawi
  • May 2015
Abnormally high food prices threaten household food security

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • After a delay in the arrival of harvests, current national food security outcomes are improving as most households begin accessing food from their smaller than normal harvests. Households identified as food insecure due to the impact of the heavy rains and floods earlier in the year are benefiting from humanitarian assistance in the form of food and cash. The majority of households throughout the country are facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes while households in areas that were affected by heavy rains and flooding earlier in the year are facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes. 

    • Average national prices for maize staple have remained abnormally high in response to the production shortfalls expected following the second round estimates. Average maize prices are about 40 percent above the three year average and about 20 percent above prices in April 2014. This is atypical because during the harvest period,  maize prices normally decrease by about 20 percent.

    • Government has started purchasing maize locally to replenish the strategic grain reserve and boost stocks for ADMARC, the grain marketing board that sells subsidized maize. The bulk of this maize will be bought from private grain traders whose unconfirmed stocks from last year were reported to be at around 75,000 to 80,000 metric tons. This maize is expected to be used for future humanitarian assistance, as well as for subsidized sales to poorer households as the country enters the lean period.


    Figure 1


    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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