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The main harvest has begun and production is expected to be good

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Mozambique
  • March 2014
The main harvest has begun and production is expected to be good

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook Through June 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Acute food insecurity outcomes are currently stable and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) for the majority of rural households across the country. Yet, some households in places affected by recent floods in the central, northern, and southern river basins (including Púnguè, Licungo, Incomati, Limpopo and Maputo rivers) are at risk of acute food insecurity. From April through June Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes will continue throughout the country due to the main season harvest.
    • Given the optimal climatic conditions observed in the country as a whole, in comparison with previous seasons the current cropping season is expected to be exceptionally good.

    Current Situation
    • Generally, weather conditions have been favorable in most of the country. As crops are harvested food security outcomes will improve, especially for those dependent on household crop production for the majority of their food needs. The food security of most rural households across the country is relatively favorable and Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1) are expected to continue through June. In the flood affected areas, emergency operations including evacuations and humanitarian assistance continue.
    • In February, the country received extremely heavy rainfall that was especially concentrated in the central and northern regions of the country (Figure 1). During the same period the rainfall in the south was initially below normal. However during the first ten days of March, the southern region received substantial rains that were well above normal.
    • The large amounts of rains from mid- February have resulted in inundations in some cultivated areas of the central and northern regions. The heavy rains in the south in early March, combined with large volumes of water flowing from the neighboring countries upstream have led to flooding in the lower lands of Incomati, Umbeluzi and Maputo rivers. In the same period the rest of the country received normal to below normal rains. Because the rainy season typically ends in March/April and forecasts indicate additional rains in March, this poses some threat of further flooding in adjacent areas along the above basins.
    • While flooding this year is not a large-scale emergency, by mid-March flooding had affected about 15,000 households living in the flood plain areas of Zambezi, Búzi, Púnguè, Licungo, Maputo, Incomati and Limpopo and Save basins. Flooding has destroyed some crops (mostly maize, groundnut, cowpea, sweet potato, and vegetables) in these areas. DNSA reported that due to a combination of pests (African armyworm and Stalk borer) and floods/heavy rains, approximately 0.57 percent of the total planted area in the country was lost. Harvesting has begun in most of the south and is forthcoming in central and northern regions. Given the optimal climatic conditions observed in the country as a whole, the overall cropping season is expected to be better than the last three main seasons.
    • Maize prices are close to the five-year average and generally following the seasonal trend, with the exception of Nampula where prices are still above the five-year average. In Nampula current trends suggest that prices will generally continue to be stable, reaching their peak in March, and decreasing in April. From December to February national prices remained stable or increased according to the seasonal trends for the month of March, with no relevant changing pattern. Prices are expected to start decreasing with the onset of the main harvest.

     


    Updated Assumptions
    • The assumptions used to develop the most likely scenario for the January-June Outlook period are still valid. As indicated in the assumptions for agroclimatology, flooding is currently not severe and widespread, and so it is not likely to change the most likely scenario. Thus, the overall projected food security outcomes for the outlook period are not expected to change. A full discussion of the scenario is available in: Mozambique Food Security Outlook for January to June 2014.

    Projected Outlook Through June 2014

    It is expected that the majority of households in the country will face Minimal food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1) from April to June. Although flooding caused temporary displacement of households, some crop damage, and impassable roads, the food security of most affected households will not be adversely impacted. This season’s national crop production prospects are reported to be good and the majority of the households in the country are expected to meet their basic food needs through the consumption of their own production and market purchases. As the rains ease, road conditions will improve and local markets will become more accessible. 

    In the Lower Limpopo Baixa Non Irrigation Scheme livelihood zone  in Gaza Province (covering parts of Chókwe, Guija, Chibuto, Bilene and Xai-Xai districts, the majority of poor households are facing Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1). From April to June Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to continue as the majority of households will begin consuming food from own production and have less reliance on market purchases. The upcoming second season, from April to July, will allow for an expansion of opportunities for agricultural labor during this period. The seasonal decrease of staple food prices will continue until June and this will improve poor household access to market food purchases.

     

    About This Update
    This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. Learn more about our work at www.fews.net.

    Figures Figure 1. Monthly average rainfall distribution in Niassa Province for the 2013/14 rainfall season compared to the historical

    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Monthly average rainfall distribution in Niassa Province for the 2013/14 rainfall season compared to the historical average (1920-1980).

    Source: FEWS NET and USGS

    Figure 2. Monthly average rainfall distribution in Zambezia  Province for the 2013/14 rainfall season compared to the histori

    Figure 2

    Figure 2. Monthly average rainfall distribution in Zambezia Province for the 2013/14 rainfall season compared to the historical average (1920-1980).

    Source: FEWS NET and USGS

    Figure 3

    Figure 3. Monthly average rainfall distribution in Gaza Province for the 2013/14 rainfall season compared to the historical average (1920-1980).

    Source: FEWS NET and USGS

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source:

    Figure 5

    Source:

    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.

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