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Food access improves with new harvests and declining staple food prices

  • Key Message Update
  • Malawi
  • May 2018
Food access improves with new harvests and declining staple food prices

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Harvesting of major crops is intensifying across the country and is expected to extend into June, especially for central and northern regions. These activities continue to improve food access for farming households. However preliminary reports from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Water Development indicate that maize production for the 2018/19 consumption will be below average.

    • The tobacco selling season officially opened on April 10th amid estimated production of about 14 percent below trade requirements, according to Tobacco Control Commission. Tobacco sales across the country have showed a reduction of 3-12 percent in selling prices in comparison to last season. Lower prices coupled with below-average tobacco production has reduced household incomes from tobacco sales and related labor activities.

    • With the arrival of new harvests, prices for staple maize followed typical trends and decreased 5 to 20 percent from the previous month in most markets across the country. Maize prices are 8 to 33 percent below the five-year average. Households in areas affected by drought conditions and erratic rains are still relying on markets for their food supplies and are experiencing improved purchasing power due to the low food prices.

    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes are expected to continue across most of the country due to improved household stocks from the ongoing harvests and below-average staple prices. However, some very poor and poor households in areas severely affected by dry spells and FAW infestations will start facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes much earlier than normal (August/September) because household stocks are expected to run out earlier than normal. 

    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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