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Pockets of displaced households affected by floods near the central and northern river basins, including the Licungo and Shire rivers, are experiencing Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2), which may last until June. The Government and humanitarian country team are assisting these households and providing them with food and non-food items, particularly inputs.
Elsewhere in the country, the poor and very poor households continue to rely on a range of typical livelihood strategies. As the crops from the main harvest start to gradually become available in March, food prices are expected to decrease thereafter, and access to food for the majority of poor households will greatly improve. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is expected until June.
Staple food prices and trade flow patterns are typical for this time of the year. From December to January prices remained stable or increased according to the seasonal trends. The floods in the central and northern parts of the country are occasionally restricting the movement of goods in some local markets, but impacts are temporary and localized.
- The acute food insecurity of most rural households across the country and outside the flood-affected areas is relatively favorable and Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1) are expected through June.
- An estimated 177,645 persons have been affected by this year’s heavy rains and flooding throughout the country. In the flood affected areas humanitarian assistance (i.e. food, shelter, water, sanitation, and health services) is being provided by the Government and partners. In order to assess the medium term needs of households living in affected areas, a rapid joint emergency assessment by the Vulnerability Analysis Group (GAV) from the Technical Secretariat of Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN) is being implemented and will inform the next steps for humanitarian and recovery programming.
- While the report from this assessment is being finalized, the timely distribution of seeds to household who have lost their crops and replanting is urged. This is because following the recession of floodwaters, households can take advantage of the residual water from the flood and the expected additional rains. Replanting would secure off-season harvest in July and the affected households may no longer need food aid after June.
- According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA), due to heavy rains and floods since the beginning of the year, a total of 110,602 hectares of cropped land have been affected by the flooding, representing 1.6 percent of the total planted area in the country. According to MASA, Zambézia was the most affected province with nearly 5.4 percent of planted area lost.
- Due to irregular and excessive rainfall, in some of the affected areas farmers had to replant multiple times. Planted crops are generally in good condition and at various growing stages. In the south, green food is gradually becoming available. Groundnuts and maize are at the maturing and harvest stages while the rice is at ripening stage. In the central zone, maize is at the grain formation stage with some crops at the vegetative stage. Cowpea, millet, and groundnuts are at the emergence and vegetative stages. Rice is being transplanted and is in the vegetative phase. In the north, crops are generally at the vegetative stage.
- Despite being poorly distributed, the rainfall thus far has allowed for the revival of pastures and has replenished some of the water sources for animal consumption.
- In monitored markets the overall maize prices are close to the five-year average and generally following the seasonal trend, except in Maxixe and Chókwe where prices are increasing at a rate that is pushing it above last year’s levels by 32 and 41 percent, respectively. In both markets the average trend shows that current prices are also higher than the five-year average. The higher demand for maize from Chókwe by markets in the south, particularly from Maputo Province, and the increasing demand of maize from Maxixe by deficit markets in parts of Inhambane Province are contributing to lower maize supplies in both markets. However, maize substitutes (namely rice, maize meal, and cassava) are currently at affordable prices, which will enable poor households’ access to foods in local markets.
The assumptions used to develop the most likely scenario for the January-June Outlook period remain valid. The current situation has not affected the assumptions used in developing FEWS NET’s most likely scenario. A full discussion of the scenario is available at: Mozambique Food Security Outlook for January to June 2015.
Despite the adverse agroclimatic conditions in localized areas, this season’s national crop production prospects are reported to be good. However, the late start of rains in much of the country, particularly in the central and northern zones of the country, will likely delay the availability of this year’s harvested crops by approximately a month. While the lean season continues (until March), households are able to access food from their own production or through markets purchases, and they can afford some non-food expenditures. Income is being generated by fishing, coconut sales, cashew, livestock, small stock sales, and a variety of self-employment activities. The seasonal decrease of staple food prices will continue until June and this will improve poor household access to market food purchases. It is expected that the food security outcomes for the majority of the households in the country will likely remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through June.
Although the population of flood-affected people is less than 20 percent in each district, there are pockets of Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2) in these areas and these outcomes will continue through June. The government and partners will continue to provide humanitarian assistance until June. In these areas, emergency seed distribution for post-flood replanting and the second cropping season is highly recommended. However, it is possible that if inadequate assistance is provided, this will likely delay recovery efforts and may force affected households to resort to atypical coping strategies, including the partial depletion of their assets.
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.