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A Normal start of the 2013/14 rainy season

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Mozambique
  • November 2013
A Normal start of the 2013/14 rainy season

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through March 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Food security outcomes are Minimal (IPC Phase 1) for the majority of the rural households across the country, and food security conditions are expected to remain favorable through March 2014. However, if political and military incidents and instability continue in parts of Chibabava, Gorongosa, and Maringue districts in Sofala Province, this could increase the likelihood of acute food insecurity in the coming months.
    • During the second half of October rainfall began in most of the southern and central region, but has yet to start in the northern provinces. Rainfall levels are good in the south and central region and this is creating conditions that are beneficial for the beginning of seasonal planting.

    Current Situation

    The projected food security outcomes in the October Outlook remain valid for the remainder of the outlook period (November-March). 

    • Minimal food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1) are found in most of the country. The majority of rural households continue to have reliable food access through market purchases and the expansion of their typical livelihood strategies, therefore able to meet their basic food needs. In some areas where agroclimatic conditions allowed for a second cropping season, this harvest continues to be an important source of food and income. Potential food insecurity in upcoming months is likely in areas that are currently vulnerable to political and military uncertainty.

    • Political and military insecurity in parts of the central region, particularly the Maringue, Chibabava and Gorongosa districts, warrants close monitoring in order to assess the potential impact on affected households. Also, with the onset of rains and the main agriculture season, unknown number of households may not be able to participate in farming activities and for main season crop production and this would have an adverse impact on their food security situation.

    • Prices are expected to continue rising following the seasonal trends and reaching its peak in February. Staple food flows are expected to continue to follow their normal patterns. Due to the conditioned movement of goods and commodities resulting from the insecurity conditions along the main National Road 1, the flows patterns are likely to be restricted. Food prices are expected to remain above the five-year average for the remainder of the consumption year (Figure 3). 

    • Price trends in Nampula markets are slightly different than in the rest of the country. Maize prices have been rising atypically over the past two months, though the trend diminished significantly between September and October (Figure 4). 

    • Current rain patterns suggest that the rains have started approximately 20 days earlier than normally expected in the southern and central regions. During the first ten days of October, the south and central region experienced widespread rains reaching more than 100 mm and measuring more than 100 percent above average for this period. These favorable rains in the south have revitalized pasture and allowed for the planting of maize and bean. Planting is ongoing and is expected to continue into November, with a harvest expected between February and March. In parts of the central region some farmers have also started planting. In the north, planting is mostly expected in late November and early December. 

    • According to the updated climate outlook recently released by the SADC Climate Services Center, during the November 2013 to January 2014 period, the bulk of the country expects to receive normal to above-normal rains. 

    Updated Assumptions

    The assumptions used to develop the most likely scenario for the October to March Outlook period are still valid. The overall projected food security outcomes for the outlook period are not expected to change. A full discussion of the scenario is available in the Mozambique October 2013 Food Security Outlook.

    Projected Outlook through March 2013
    • During the first half of the scenario period households will be able to meet their basic food requirements through food stocks from the second season production, combined with market purchases. Households will employ typical coping strategies to meet their basic food needs. Additionally, the onset of rains in October/November normally provides a variety of wild food that gradually increases food access. Casual labor including land preparation and planting will also play an important role during this period. 
    • During the second half of the scenario period (January-March), green food availability will gradually increase and consumption will start improving before the onset of the harvest in March. Given that the prices are expected to be close to average, and rice prices (the immediate substitute) have been quite stable, the seasonal increase of staple food prices will still allow household access to food through market purchases. Overall, household livelihood strategies will be maintained and it is expected that the majority of poor and very poor households will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes throughout the remainder of the consumption year. 

    Figure 3


    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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