Poor harvest in southern Mozambique expected to result in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes
IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Currently, most households across the country are facing None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes as they rely on their food stocks from last season's above-average harvest, the current green harvest, and market purchases. However, area-level Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are present across southern and central Mozambique due to the impact of Tropical Storms Ana and Dumako, the delayed onset of rainfall at the start of the season, irregular rainfall distribution, below-average rainfall, and flooding in central and southern Mozambique. In Cabo Delgado, area-level Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are present in areas accessible to humanitarian partners, with conflict-affected areas of Cabo Delgado continuing to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
Impacts of Moderate Tropical Storm Ana and the low-pressure zone from the dissipation of Tropical Storm Dumako: In late January 2022, moderate tropical storm Ana hit the Mozambican coast with winds of 100-130 km/h and more than 100 millimeters of rainfall in 24 hours, impacting the provinces of Nampula, Zambézia, Tete, and parts of Niassa, Manica, and Sofala provinces. As of February 14, OCHA reports that more than 185,400 people were affected, along with the destruction of around 12,000 homes and 1600 classrooms, and damaging 26 health centers, 25 water supply centers, around 2,275 km of road, and impacting around 126,300 hectares of agricultural land. By the end of February, all 20 accommodation centers that had been activated have been closed and households living in higher-risk locations resettled in new areas where they continue to receive humanitarian assistance. However, there are reports that the overflow of the Shire River following the passage of Tropical Storm Ana displaced more than 2,000 people from Morrumbala, Zambezia province, who are currently residing with displaced Malawians in Nsanje district, Malawi. Authorities in both countries are working to provide humanitarian assistance. Areas affected by Tropical Storm Ana are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with the most-affected households likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. INGD is providing humanitarian assistance to impacted households until they recover.
On February 17, 2022, a low-pressure zone from the dissipation of Moderate Tropical Storm Dumako impacted many areas previously affected by Moderate Tropical Storm Ana. As soils were already saturated, an additional over 100 mm of rainfall in 24 hours and strong winds with gusts of up to 65 km per hour resulted in flooding in Zambézia, Tete, Nampula, Sofala, Manica, and Niassa provinces, further destroying infrastructure, particularly bridges and roads, causing cuts in access roads, impairing access to cities and towns, and flooding in agricultural fields. More conclusive assessments are still ongoing to assess the real impact on the ground. Preliminary assessments by INGD indicate more than 2,600 people displaced, 34 houses destroyed, and hundreds more partially damaged or submerged. As additional assessments are carried out, and information becomes available, these preliminary estimates will likely increase along with the impact on crop production.
Late-onset of rainfall, dryness, and abnormally high temperatures: The effective start of rainfall was delayed by 10 to more than 40 days across most of Mozambique. Effective rainfall started between mid-December and early January in the central and northern regions, with average to above-average rainfall in January and February supporting crop growth. Most crops are currently in the vegetative stages when they typically would be in the reproductive stages. However, key informants report that farmers are concerned that the late start of the season and shortened crop-growing window may impact the harvest. In southern Mozambique, particularly Gaza and Inhambane provinces, southern Sofala, Manica, and Tete provinces, the onset of rainfall in late December resulted in many households planting. However, dry spells and abnormally high temperatures in January and February are resulting in crops wilting due to water stress, with crop failure expected in the worst-affected areas in the southern region (Figure 1, Figure 2). However, in the low-lying areas with residual moisture or irrigation systems, crops are in good condition. Of notable concern are inland areas of Gaza province, most of Inhambane province, and southern Sofala and Manica provinces, where ground reports indicate that crops have already withered or died. In the coastal districts of Inhambane, particularly Govuro, Inhassoro, Vilanculos, and Massinga, ineffective rainfall has resulted in households planning for the second season (primarily short-cycle crops and vegetables) if late rains provide adequate residual moisture through the remainder of the season.
Floods in Maputo province: In early and mid-January 2022, heavy rains in South Africa, Eswatini, and southern Mozambique, resulted in the Maputo, Incomati, and Umbelúzi river levels rising above their respective alert levels, resulting in the opening of multiple dam floodgates in Mozambique. The rise in river levels resulted in the overflow and flooding of the low-lying areas, primarily agricultural areas. As of early February 2022, preliminary data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) indicate that floods have affected more than 11,500 hectares of agricultural land in Maputo province, around 8 percent of the total planned area in Maputo province for the ongoing agricultural season. The most affected districts include Manhiça, Matutuíne, Boane, Marracuene, and Magude, where up to 15 percent of the planted area was impacted. However, affected households are likely to recover lost production through post-flood planting, but very poor households may need additional seeds to replant.
Conflict in Cabo Delgado and parts of Niassa: Insurgents still retain a presence in northern parts of Cabo Delgado and continue to conduct small-scale attacks and killings frequently, primarily in districts along the northern border with Tanzania. Insurgents remain scattered around Cabo Delgado, but government reports indicate that they are predominantly located in remote areas of Mueda, Macomia, and Mocímboa da Praia districts, with limited food and resources. Attacks by Islamist militants spilled over into Niassa province for the first time, though the situation seems to be stable since December. Overall, in remote areas of Cabo Delgado, sporadic attacks have continued amid an expansion of insurgents' operations outside of areas with a heavy security force presence. Although some IDPs have started to return to their homes, most IDPs are not returning, with limited participation in the ongoing 2021/22 agricultural season. Conflict-affected areas in Cabo Delgado are likely facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with humanitarian food assistance (HFA) driving Stressed! (IPC Phase2!) in safer areas. Due to the displacement of more than 5,000 people in Mecula district in Niassa province at the start of the agricultural season, planting was delayed. Although most households have returned to their areas of origin, due to improvements in the security situation, there remains a high need for multiform support following the destruction of homes, social infrastructure, and agricultural inputs. Mecula district is likely facing area-level Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, although the most affected households from the conflict will likely be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to the loss of assets and inability to engage in the agricultural season.
In February 2022, IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix reported that around 2000 to 5800 people were recorded on the move each week. Each week, 80-90 percent of people report that the key trigger for the movement is attacks. Around 60-80 percent of people on the move travel by bus, with around 15-40 percent of people traveling by foot. The data suggests that the climate of tension prevails as sporadic new attacks continue in remote areas.
In November 2021, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) carried out a Livelihoods and Food Security (LFS) assessment in the IDP sites of Eduardo Mondlane, Mpeme, and Lianda in Mueda district, Cabo Delgado Province. Key findings indicate that IDP livelihoods have changed significantly since becoming displaced, with household income and purchasing power declining by around 90 percent to around 1370 MZN (~21 USD) per month, significantly below Mozambique's minimum wage of 4510 MZN (~70 USD). Most IDPs reported that their main source of income before displacement was the sale of crops, casual labor, and petty trade. However, IDPs are now reliant on income from the selling of gifts/aid, receiving food aid, and skilled and casual labor opportunities, with over 80 percent of household expenditure on food. Over 80 percent of respondents reported not planning to leave the IDP sites in the next six months, but most reported a desire to return to their home of origin once the government says it is safe to do so. Overall, the loss of typical food and income-earning opportunities indicates that IDPs remain reliant on humanitarian food assistance.
COVID-19: As of February 16, 2022, Mozambique has a seven-day rolling average of around 42 daily new COVID-19 cases, a significant decline from the peak of the fourth COVID-19 wave in early January 2022. As of February 1, 2022, around 33 percent of Mozambicans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Ministry of Health (MISAU) has also begun administering a booster vaccine dose to around 1.6 million people, particularly healthcare professionals, residents of nursing homes, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. With the end of the fourth wave of COVID-19, the government has eased most restriction measures for 60 days, starting on February 19, 2022. The measures announced include the end of the curfew, re-opening of all borders, extending restaurant opening hours to 11 pm, and the re-opening of bars. In addition to the previously announced resumption of normal opening hours for all commercial and similar services, these measures are in strict compliance with health protocols to prevent COVID-19. Economic activity is expected to slowly return to normal, with poor households likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to below-average purchasing power.
Progress of the 2021/2022 agricultural season: Cumulative rainfall from October 1, 2021, to February 20, 2022, along with forecast rainfall through March 5, 2022, is below the 40-year average across much of Mozambique, with less than 60 percent of cumulative average rainfall being recorded in southern Sofala, much of Inhambane, and southern Manica (Figure 3). In northern Mozambique, regular and well-distributed rainfall in January and February has significantly improved previously well-below average cumulative rainfall deficits, with cumulative rainfall 75-110 percent of average in Niassa and Cabo Delgado. Following an effective start of rainfall in mid-December in southern Mozambique, rainfall has been well below-average, resulting in widespread dryness. According to key informants on the ground, in the interior areas of southern Mozambique, effective rainfall for crop production occurred in late December/early January, with most households using the rainfall to plant. However, the below-average rainfall in January and well-below average rainfall in February has resulted in widespread crop water stress. According to the Water Requirements Satisfaction Index (WRSI), the upcoming maize harvest is likely to be significantly below average, with poor or failed harvests likely across Gaza and Inhambane provinces (Figure 2). According to key informants on the ground, most households in Gaza and Inhambane have already lost their previously planted crops. However, in the western strip bordering Zimbabwe and households in Maputo province, early planted crops are expected to reach maturity with an average harvest. However, average to good harvests are likely in the high production areas of central and northern Mozambique. Most crops are between the vegetative and reproductive stages in the central zone except in southern Tete (Mágoe, Changara, Marara, Cahora Bassa, and the south of Chiúta and Moatize districts), where crops are still in the vegetative stages following replanting. In northern Mozambique, crops are also still in vegetative stages. National production is expected to be near the five-year average as crop growth in high production areas is in good condition despite a delayed start to the season; however, some uncertainty remains whether there is sufficient time for crops to reach maturity.
Most poor households in rural areas continue to earn an average income through typical means, including the sale of crops, livestock, charcoal and firewood, and forest products. Poor households also sell cashew nuts and other seasonal products such as watermelon. However, in southern Mozambique, the anticipated below-average harvest is limiting poor households' access to income from agricultural labor and in-kind payments, as middle and better-off households are abandoning agricultural activities. The loss of agricultural labor opportunities- weeding and pre-harvesting typically occur in February- results in below-average income for poor households. To a lesser extent, there are also reports in southern Tete province that poor households have gone through successive failed planting attempts due to delayed rainfall; however, an average harvest is likely in the more productive parts of norther Tete province. Poor households are expanding self-employment activities to earn income, including collecting and selling natural products such as grass and firewood, building poles and reeds, producing and selling traditional beverages, and producing and marketing charcoal. However, income from charcoal production is below-average due to increased competition. When necessary, households are selling available livestock and poultry at average market prices. Although borders have re-opened with South Africa, remittances remain below average due to the reduction of employment opportunities in South Africa.
Market and Trade: From December 2021 to January 2022, maize grain prices have a mixed trend, with stable prices in the monitored markets in Maputo, Chókwe, Mutarara, Montepuez, and Lichinga, while maize grain prices increased 15-26 percent in the monitored markets of Maxixe, Massinga and Mocuba, and a 6 percent decrease in prices in Manica market. Typically, maize grain prices increase through the rainy season as market supplies decline due to an increase in market demand. However, the stable and decreasing trends are likely the result of the above five-year average availability of maize grain from the 2021/2022 season, along with prices self-adjusting to compensate for the high prices reached in 2019 and 2020 following successive shocks. Maize grain prices in January 2022 in most monitored markets were 20-55 percent below prices last year and 5-44 percent below the five-year average, except in Montepuez, where the price of maize grain was 44 percent above the five-year. The higher-than-average prices in Montepuez are likely driven by the conflict in Cabo Delgado that is affecting normal supply chains. As typical, maize meal and rice prices were stable in most monitored markets from December 2021 to January 2022, with some fluctuations due to localized supply and demand dynamics. Both maize meal and rice prices in January 2022 had a mixed trend compared to last year and the five-year average.
According to data from Index Mundi, Mozambique imported around 800,000 MT of wheat in 2021, with Ukraine and Russia a key source of wheat imports. Given the recent conflict in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russia, there is the potential for disruption to global cereal and fertilizer exports from both Ukraine and Russia. The likely magnitude of these disruptions is still being analyzed as events in Ukraine unfold. The potential impacts are further detailed in the Events that Could Change the Scenario.
Humanitarian Assistance: In January 2022, WFP resumed rations sufficient to meet up to 24 days of monthly kilocalorie needs to around 818,000 beneficiaries in Cabo Delgado and Nampula. These rations are expected to continue through March, with a potential pipeline break in May unless funding is secured. However, the distribution plan is subject to changes due to the availability of resources and the redirection of priorities. Other humanitarian organizations are focused on livelihood assistance, treatment of malnutrition, WASH activities, and educating communities on COVID-19 safety and treatment. Targeted humanitarian assistance is also taking place in areas affected by Tropical Storm Ana and floods caused by the dissipation of tropical Storm Dumako. Humanitarian needs are expected to remain high in conflict, cyclone, and drought-affected areas, even following the start of the harvest in April.
The February to September 2022 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:
- The January to March 2022 rainfall is forecast to be below average in southern and central Mozambique. Based on current rainfall anomalies and forecasts, rainfall in southern Mozambique is expected to be 30 to 60 percent of average. There is an increased probability of above-average temperatures in southern Mozambique through March 2022, potentially negatively impacting cropping and pasture. The high temperatures are associated with below-average rainfall that has been received and is expected during this period. Cumulative rainfall is also expected to be below average in parts of northern Mozambique. An average number of cyclones strikes is most likely, with at least one more tropical cyclone strike likely in February or March.
- The national water supply is expected to be average to above average, as dam capacity levels are supported by average to above-average rainfall last year and average cumulative rainfall from October 2021 to January 2022 in central and southern Mozambique. Watersheds with moderate to high risk of flooding in February and March include Maputo, Umbelúzi, Incomáti, Limpopo, Búzi, Púnguè, Savane, and Licungo, particularly following heavy rainfall upstream.
- Favorable cropping conditions are expected in the 2021/2022 agricultural season in the central highland areas and Maputo province, except for areas affected by localized floods. A post-flood harvest is possible, but the harvest will be delayed. Significantly below-average to crop failure is expected in the interior of Gaza and Inhambane and the coastal area of Inhambane due to dryness and multiple failed planting attempts. Below-average crop production is also expected in southern Tete province due to a late start of effective rainfall and dryness. Despite the delay in the onset of rains in the north, regular and well-distributed rain is likely to provide around 800 mm of cumulative rainfall since the start of the rains in January, reaching the 600-800 mm minimum moisture requirement for maize production. In conflict-affected areas in Cabo Delgado, agricultural production will be well below average due to limited engagement from a lack of access to land and inputs for displaced households. As typical, damage from pests and diseases, including fall armyworm (FAW), grasshoppers, and rodents, is likely, particularly in areas affected by below-average rainfall.
- Driven by residual soil moisture, second-season production is expected to be average to above-average in Maputo province, close to average in the central region, and below-average in the interior of Gaza and Inhambane, and the southern and coastal areas of the northern region. In flood-affected areas, households with available seeds will replant following the recession of floodwaters.
- For the marketing year starting in April 2022, the expected national near-average harvest will result in near-average food availability for poor households. However, the harvest is likely to be delayed in parts of the country where households planted late. Exceptions include areas affected by shocks such as conflict, drought, cyclones, and floods, where food availability may be below average. However, this may be minimized by the inflow of products from surplus areas. It is anticipated that maize and rice imports will be similar to last year. Almost all national wheat and more than 50 percent of national rice needs will likely be imported.
- Trade flows of staple foods are expected to occur normally at typical volumes along major routes in central and southern regions due to average crop production in the 2021/2022 agriculture season. The central and northern markets will be primarily supplied by maize grain from local or nearby districts, while central zone markets will predominantly supply southern zone markets. In parts of Cabo Delgado, the flow of food commodities will be constrained due to the ongoing conflict. While prices for imported and processed commodities such as rice and maize meal are expected to remain more stable than bulk grain prices, short-term variations will be based on localized supply and demand dynamics.
- Cross-border trade with South Africa is expected to be close to average, in part due to the re-opening of all borders and the facilitation of trade for essential goods. Formal and informal cross-border trade with Zimbabwe is expected to be average to above-average, driven by demand for cheaper basic commodities from Mozambique (rice, spaghetti, flour, cooking oil), secondhand clothing, and other processed commodities. Maize exports to Malawi, both informal and formal, are expected to be average, as southern Malawi is typically a maize deficit area.
- Based on FEWS NET price projections, maize grain prices in the national reference market of Manica are expected to follow seasonal trends and gradually decline from February to July with the 2021/2022 harvest. Prices will then increase as market supply decreases and market demand increases gradually. Prices are likely to remain above the five-year average but are lower than last year. As typical, maize meal and rice prices are expected to remain more stable than bulk grain prices; but short-term variations will be driven by localized supply and demand dynamics.
- Rangeland resources are expected to remain close to average following rainfall in January and February. As typical, livestock body conditions will gradually improve with pasture availability during the rainy season. From May, pasture and livestock body conditions will deteriorate seasonally but remain at an average level throughout the scenario period. However, in the interior of Gaza and Inhambane and coastal areas of Inhambane, rangeland resources are expected to be below average.
- Wild food availability will remain near normal levels through September. The availability of green foods is expected to be timely and close to normal throughout the country, with a slight reduction in the interior of Gaza and Inhambane and the coastal area of Inhambane.
- The State of Public Calamity will continue indefinitely at the red alert level as long as there is a risk of spreading COVID-19 in Mozambique. The relaxation of many COVID-19 control measures is expected to increase economic activity in the country's private, informal, and public sectors. Greater economic activity is expected to increase income-generating opportunities for poor households, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas. The government is expected to continue the COVID-19 vaccination campaign during the scenario period.
- Agricultural labor opportunities are expected to be close to normal in rural areas. Poor households are expected to earn income through in-kind, cash, and other payment modalities, with payment in some cases occurring after the harvest, particularly in areas affected by shocks. Apart from the agricultural labor, households will continue to engage in self-employment activities to generate income for market purchases. Following the main annual harvest, rural households will gradually rely more on their own produce for food and income. However, in areas affected by shocks (floods, drought, and cyclones), income is likely to be below average due to crop losses, increased competition, and low demand from urban centers due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
- Due to increasingly tight border control measures in South Africa, cross-border migration is likely to be below average. However, migration to urban areas in Mozambique will remain high.
- In Cabo Delgado, while insurgents will continue to occasionally evade capture and launch attacks on poorly secured villages, the likelihood of high impact, high casualty attacks in urban centers will remain low amid the continued presence of counter-insurgency security forces. Although some IDPs have started to return to their homes to prepare for the next agricultural season, most IDPs are unlikely to return due to continued insecurity. With basic livelihoods disrupted, IDPs are expected to remain dependent on emergency humanitarian assistance to fill gaps in food consumption.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
From February to May 2022, most poor households in Mozambique are expected to face None (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, with access to green food in February and March, followed by the harvest of the main staple crops. As the harvest progresses, households will gradually reduce their dependence on market purchases. However, in most of the interior of Gaza and Inhambane provinces, poor households will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) as they will be atypically dependent on market food purchases due to the late and likely significantly below-average to failed crop harvest. In these areas, below-average income due to increased competition is expected to limit the purchasing power of poor households. In southern Tete Province, poor households with surviving late crops from multiple planting attempts will likely face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, as most will not yet be able to access their own harvest and will continue to rely on food purchases from local markets. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will also prevail in areas affected by Tropical Storms Ana and Dumako due to the damage to infrastructure and the disruption of typical livelihood activities. Households are unlikely to afford non-food items, with the worst-affected households likely in need of food assistance until the post-flood harvests. However, some households are unlikely to recover until the main harvest in 2023. In conflict-affected areas in Cabo Delgado and parts of Niassa, the impact of the conflict is expected to limit income-earning opportunities from agricultural or casual labor opportunities. Areas more directly impacted by conflict are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) except in areas where humanitarian assistance is Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) through September 2022.
From June to September, most poor households will be accessing food from their own production and will continue facing None (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. However, in the interior areas of Gaza and Inhambane provinces and southern Manica and Sofala provinces, the expected crop failure from the main season will force most poor households to intensify their typical livelihood strategies such as selling livestock, selling firewood and charcoal, and consuming wild foods. The poorest, who do not own or have few animals and lack the capacity to produce charcoal, will be forced to reduce spending on non-food items and adopt consumption-based coping strategies such as skipping meals, reducing meal sizes, consuming less preferred food varieties, and increasing the consumption of wild foods to minimize food consumption gaps. However, in July, the poorest households will likely begin engaging in more severe coping strategies as access to income and food stocks decline, such as withdrawing children from school unless meals are provided at school or sending households members to eat elsewhere. Poor households are expected to require food assistance to avoid depleting essential livelihood assets, driving the emergence of area-level Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes long before the start of the lean season in October/November. In southern Tete, the likely late and well-below harvest will minimize the impacts of food shortages, maintaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. In areas affected by Tropical Storms Ana and Dumako, post-flood harvests from June onwards will help to minimize food gaps, but most poor households who have lost all or most of their livelihoods (tools, homes, household goods, livestock), will likely be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through the scenario period.
EVENTS THAT MIGHT CHANGE THE OUTLOOK
Table 1. Possible events over the next eight months that could change the most-likely scenario.
|Area||Event||Impact on Food Security Outcomes|
|National||Absence of humanitarian food assistance||Acute malnutrition and increased acute food insecurity are expected to increase along with an increase in the number of people facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes.|
|National||Scale-up of humanitarian food assistance in Cabo Delgado and Niassa||The scale-up of HFA would likely improve food access and lead to increased area-level Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes in Cabo Delgado and Niassa.|
|National||Limited access to seeds||
Poor households will likely not be able to plant and be unable to recover their anticipated harvest or increase their food reserves and income through the sale of crops.
|National||Traders do not respond to market demands as anticipated, and no additional stocks flow to the deficit areas||Local markets would be undersupplied, increasing food prices. Food access for market-dependent poor households will be more difficult, particularly in areas affected by shocks. Reduced market access will increase food consumption gaps.|
|National||Disruption to wheat and fuel imports||
Prices increases for bread and transport will negatively impact poor household purchasing power, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas where most poor households rely heavily on bread for their daily diet and public transport.
|Coastal Areas||Cyclones and floods striking the coastal areas of Mozambique||
The risk of cyclones and floods is through March 2022. The worst flood-affected households will likely face food gaps until they recover through post-shock production beyond the scenario period
For more information on the outlook for specific areas of concern, please click the download button at the top of the page for the full report.
About Scenario Development
To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.
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