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Average food supply expected for the 2017/18 consumption year

  • Key Message Update
  • Malawi
  • May 2017
Average food supply expected for the 2017/18 consumption year

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Following a good cropping season, average national staple production was achieved and is improving market supplies and bringing household food stocks back to normal levels. This is following a very poor agricultural season when drought conditions reduced national staple production significantly and lead to one of the largest food insecurity crises in more than a decade. For the current 2017/18 consumption year, food security conditions are expected to be much better and acute food insecurity is only anticipated in a few small areas that experienced localized shocks and are normally affected by chronic food insecurity. 

    • Income is improving for households involved in harvesting activities and crop sales in the southern and central regions. In the past two seasons, poor, middle, and better-off household incomes were very low or non-existent as households coped with consecutive years of drought. This lead to low labor opportunities and forced very poor and poor households to deplete their household assets in order to obtain enough cash for basic food and non-food purchases. Even with improvements in labor and other income earning opportunities during the current harvest, additional time is needed for households to fully recover and rebuild their asset base back to normal levels.  

    • Prices for the maize staple across the country continued to register decreases in April. Average prices in April were at MWK 170.96/kg as compared to MWK 197.24/kg in March. The timing of the price decrease is atypical as five year trends show that maize prices normally start registering modest decreases from April onwards. The main drivers of the early price decline include the presence of humanitarian assistance up to March, which reached almost half of the rural population. Another driver was early access to green consumption, especially for households in the central and southern regions, as well as prospects of an average production. The government is maintaining the maize export ban imposed last season and has put in place stricter control measures which could lead to reduced incomes for farmers and maize traders. 

    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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