Skip to main content

Household access to food is limited due to limited food stocks and below average incomes

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Mozambique
  • August 2019
Household access to food is limited due to limited food stocks and below average incomes

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present in some areas affected by Tropical Cyclone Idai and Kenneth and drought, and conflict in Cabo Delgado. Due to ongoing humanitarian assistance and above average second season harvest, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are present in areas of Sofala and Manica provinces. In October, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to be widespread as many poor households have limited to no food stocks and incomes. In these areas, poor households are likely to have limited or no food stocks or income and in need of urgent humanitarian food assistance.

    • Emergency food assistance is transitioning to early recovery assistance in the cyclone affected areas; however, funding is insufficient to meet the need. Roughly 67 percent of the plan is funded, only meeting about 40 percent of the estimated need. Humanitarian assistance funding for southern areas affected by drought is limited. These areas are also in need of assistance to close food consumption gaps and protect livelihoods, particularly during the lean season from October to January.

    • According to international forecasts, the most likely ENSO phase through February 2020 is neutral. Despite ENSO neutral conditions, the 2019/20 rainfall season is most likely to start late with above average rainfall in the north and below average in the southern region. This is expected to delay agriculture labor availability as well as the availability of green foods.

    • In July, maize grain and meal and rice prices remained relatively stable.  Across monitored markets, July maize grain prices on average remained well above last years’ prices by nearly 45 percent and 20 percent above the five-year average. The only major increase from June to July was in Beira by 9 percent. Maize grain prices are expected to gradually increase and expected to peak in January/February.


    As result of cyclones Idai/Kenneth and associated flooding in central and northern regions, drought in southern region, and conflict in Cabo Delgado, most affected households have limited food stocks with below average incomes. Most income sources were disrupted as the majority of households earn income by selling crops and livestock, which were affected by the shocks. Although, in flood affected areas, particularly in parts of Sofala and Manica Provinces, the above average harvest of horticulture crops, such as, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, and some tubers such as sweet potatoes is improving food access in the short-term.

    In the southern semiarid areas this is the second consecutive poor season and households have little to no food stocks and ability to participate in the second season. Most poor households are increasing their engagement in self-employment activities to access income and nonfood expenditure. In addition, as more households engage in self-employment activities, opportunities to sell decreases, as do prices as the result of increased competition, limiting incomes. Collection and consumption of wild foods is increasing to atypical levels, though availability is well below average due to the drought.

    In July, maize grain and meal and rice prices generally remained relatively stable, but well above last year’s prices and the 5-year average. In Gorongosa, the national reference market, maize grain price from June to July remained stable (Figure 1). Generally, in monitored markets, July maize grain prices remained well above last years’ prices by 42 percent and 19 percent above the five-year average.

    According to the Food Security Cluster (FSC), in July and August, emergency food assistance reached an estimated 500,000 people in Sofala and Manica provinces. In addition, humanitarian food assistance is ongoing in the north to areas households affected by tropical cyclone Kenneth and conflict, reaching an estimated about 80,000 people. In the areas affected by cyclone Idai, emergency food assistance delivery is mostly over and being gradually replaced by early recovery assistance. In this phase, starting in August, assistance delivery is through food for assets (FFA) activities.

    In Sofala and Manica provinces, where households are receiving humanitarian assistance and have access to second season production are currently in Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are present in the rest of the shock affected areas as the result of the poor to no production of the 2018/19 agriculture season. The affected households not receiving humanitarian assistance continue to use coping strategies including reducing the frequency and quantity of meals, relying on less expensive foods, borrowing food from relatives or better off households, and consuming less preferred and non-recommended wild foods in excess.


    Overall, the assumptions used to develop FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for the Mozambique June 2019 to January 2020 Food Security Outlook remain the same, except for the following:

    • The most likely ENSO phase through February 2020 is neutral while the most likely IOD Phase from August 2019 to January 2020 is positive. As a result, the start of the 2019/20 rainy season in Southern Africa is most likely to start late with seasonal rainfall from October 2019 to March 2020 is most likely to be above average in northern Mozambique; however, in southern Mozambique rainfall will most likely be below average.
    • Between December 2019 and March 2020, there is an increased likelihood of a near average number of cyclone strikes in Madagascar and Mozambique.
    • WFP currently plans to assist 800,000 people monthly until March 2020 in central areas; however, based on available resources only about 75 percent of people can be reached through January. In Kenneth/conflict affected areas, WFP has funding to assist 67 percent of the plan, similarly through January 2020. In southern drought affected areas, WFP resources will only allow assistance delivery to about 50 percent of the plan from November until January. Overall, WFP plans to assist 1.2 million people monthly through March 2020; however, current resources only cover food assistance for about 67 percent of the plan through January 2020 and only 40 percent of the food assistance needs as projected during the SETSAN IPC.


    In August and September, most households across the country will be able to meet their basic food needs. These households will face No Acute Food Insecurity (IPC Phase 1). However, large parts of the southern semiarid areas are experiencing the effects of the lean season two months earlier than normal as most households are expected to exhaust their food stocks and rely on markets with higher prices and significantly reduced incomes for food. In these areas, poor households are expected to continue face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. In areas affected by cyclones and conflict in areas of Cabo Delgado, poor households continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes through September 2019. In less affected areas, poor households will be facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.

    From October 2019 to January 2020, as the typical lean season starts, more people are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In shock affected areas, poor households are expected to expand their livelihood coping strategies to help cover their food consumption needs. In southern semiarid areas, poor households may rely more on wild foods due to limited food reserves at household level, low supplies on the market, low incomes, and expected high staple food prices. In less affected areas, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will prevail. Land preparation is expected to actively begin during this period, followed by planting once the rainfall begins. Given that most households in both cyclone and drought affected areas have lost or have limited household resources, there will be high need for seeds and other agricultural inputs to allow for enough planting. Humanitarian assistance information available at the time of the analysis did not allow for an analysis of humanitarian assistance impacts of food security outcomes in the projection period from October 2019 to January 2020. 


    Figure 1


    Figure 1. Gorongosa maize grain prices and projections (MZN/kg). Maize grain prices are expected to increase till about Janua

    Figure 2

    Gorongosa maize grain prices and projections (MZN/kg)

    Source: FEWS NET Estimates based on MASA/SIMA data

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an 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 over the next six months. Learn more here.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top