Skip to main content

The impact of dry spells, flooding, and strong winds lowers harvest expectations

  • Key Message Update
  • Mozambique
  • March 2023
The impact of dry spells, flooding, and strong winds lowers harvest expectations

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The impact of conflict, prolonged dry spells, heavy rainfall, flooding, and strong winds through the agricultural season are driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes in March. The worst affected households from Cyclone Freddy have lost their homes, food stocks, and access to their typical livelihoods and require emergency humanitarian assistance to recover. In flood-affected areas, households with access to short-cycle seeds are likely to engage in post-flood planting, with a harvest from June/July onwards. However, most poor households affected by the floods are unlikely to recover a harvest for the ongoing 2022/2023 season and will remain market dependent until the next main harvest in 2024.

    • In late February and March, heavy rainfall, flooding, and strong winds following the double landfall of tropical storm Freddy and a cold front impacted central Mozambique, andInhambane province. As of March 28, 2023, preliminary assessments by the National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD) estimate that around 1,187,265 people have been affected, with around 60 percent located in Zambéziaprovince. Additionally, widespread damage to infrastructure is limiting market functions and household livelihoods. In agricultural areas, the shocks have affected more than 390,000 hectares of different crops, of which more than 134,600 hectares are considered lost and nearly 31,200 hectares flooded.

    • There has been a rapid rise in cholera cases in March, with the cumulative number of reported cases increasing from 6,329 at the beginning of March to over 11,500 cases across 38 districts in eight provinces. Around 37 districts are continuing to report an active outbreak. According to OCHA, the cholera outbreak inQuelimane, Zambezia, particularly affects around 70,000 people who sought refuge in the accommodation centers following tropical storm Freddy, compounded by a water shortage in the city of Quelimane, where around 300,000 people live. The water authority, FIPAG, is urgently working to repair the leaks along three pipe sections. Additionally, humanitarian partners are greatly concerned about increases in cases of other waterborne diseases like diarrhea and malaria, which are leading causes of child mortality.

    • Most crops in the field are in the reproductive stage (most of the northern zone) and maturation (most of the central and southern zones) phase, with harvesting taking place mainly in Maputo province. The harvest is expected to be average to above the five-year average in the higher production areas, including the highlands of Tete, Sofala, Manica, and Zambézia, much of Niassa, Nampula, and Cabo Delgado. However, in areas affected by shocks, the harvest is anticipated to be below average due to crop loss or below-average crop yields. In these areas, households with access to short-cycle crop seeds are likely to be able to engage in post-flood or second-season planting, helping to reduce household food deficits. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) expects national maize production to be slightly lower than last year but above the five-year average.

    • From January to February 2023, maize grain prices were seasonally stable or increased in most FEWS NET-monitored markets as the lean season peaks. In February, maize prices across the monitored market were either lower, similar, or higher when compared to prices last year and to the five-year average. Maize meal and rice prices remained seasonally stable in February 2023 in most monitored markets, except for some moderate increases of up to 22 percent in Mocuba, Xai-Xai, and Nampula markets as a result of local demand and supply dynamics. Both maize meal and rice prices had mixed trends compared to last year and the five-year average. In February, annual inflation increased to 10.3 percent, reversing the downward trend of recent months, driven primarily by food prices, particularly vegetables and fish.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Mozambique Key Message Update March 2023: The impact of dry spells, flooding, and strong winds lowers harvest expectations, 2023.

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top