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The 2021/2022 harvest is likely to be delayed by a month across most of Mozambique

  • Key Message Update
  • Mozambique
  • March 2022
The 2021/2022 harvest is likely to be delayed by a month across most of Mozambique

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes persist, driven by the conflict in Cabo Delgado, below-average rainfall in southern and parts of central Mozambique, and flooding and damage from tropical storms Ana and Dumako, and tropical cyclone Gombe. In flood-affected areas, households with access to short-cycle seeds are likely to engage in post-flood planting, with a harvest in July. However, most poor households are unlikely to recover a harvest for the ongoing 2021/2022 season. In urban and peri-urban areas, the easing of COVID-19 restrictions is increasing poor household engagement in typical livelihood activities, with many poor households remaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and the most affected households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, the 12 and 15 percent increase in gasoline and diesel prices, respectively, is likely to increase the cost of living and slow economic recovery, particularly for poor urban households. 

    • On March 11, 2022, tropical cyclone Gombe made landfall over central Nampula province with winds up to 190 km/h and up to 200 millimeters of rainfall in 24 hours. The most affected provinces are Nampula and Zambézia, with Niassa, Cabo Delgado, and Tete also impacted. As of March 29, preliminary data from OCHA and the Institute for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction (INGD) estimates that tropical cyclone Gombe has affected more than 736,000 people, and damaging or destroyed about 141,800  homes and 1,500 classrooms, and damaged over 1,000 km of roads, 69 health centers, and 12 water supply systems. An estimated 91,000 hectares of crops are lost due to wind and flood damage. Around 7,000 people remain displaced and are currently receiving emergency humanitarian assistance from the government and partners in four accommodation centers and five resettlement sites. 

    • The start of the harvest is expected to be delayed by a month across most of Mozambique, except in Maputo province, where the main harvest has already started. The delay in the harvest will likely prolong the lean season and keep food prices from seasonally declining. A near-average harvest is expected in the higher production areas of Mozambique, including northern Tete, the Sofala, Manica, and Zambézia plateaus, much of Niassa, and the interior of Nampula and Cabo Delgado. However, most of southern Mozambique, including parts of Sofala and Manica provinces, are likely to have well below average harvests due to below-average rainfall and extended dry periods. Low-lying areas of Nampula, Zambézia, and Sofala provinces have also lost crops to flooding, but post-flood planting is possible if households have access to short-cycle seeds. Overall, national production is expected to be lower than last year and below the five-year average following the multiple shocks through the agricultural season. 

    • Maize grain prices from January to February 2022 had a mixed trend, with prices ranging from 15 percent below to 8 percent above January prices. The delay in the start of the harvest may result in prices peaking in March or April rather than February. Maize grain prices in February 2022 were between 13-52 percent below last year's level, except in Chókwe and Montepuez, where maize grain prices were stable. In all but two monitored markets, maize grain prices were between 5-42 percent below the five-year average, except in Montepuez and Manica, where maize grain prices were 39 and 6 percent above the five-year average. As typical, rice and maize meal prices were stable in most monitored markets. However, food prices are likely to increase in areas affected by cyclones, floods, drought, and conflict due to limited supply and increased demand for market purchases. 

    • On March 17, 2022, the government increased domestic fuel prices by 5-15 percent due to increasing crude oil prices on the international market. Gasoline, cooking oil, and diesel prices increased 12-15 percent, while paraffin prices increased 5 percent. This increase in fuel prices resulted in chapas (passenger minibusses) drivers temporarily stopping operations in protest over the rise in operating costs and increasing fares in various parts of the country. The rise in fuel prices is likely to increase transportation costs and the cost of goods transactions and staple foods. The national bakery association has also announced that bread prices will soon increase due to the increase in global wheat prices. Rising fuel and bread prices are likely to reduce household purchasing power, although the impact of ongoing mitigation measures is yet to be determined.  

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level 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. Learn more here.

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