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Crop conditions are poor in the extreme south due to erratic rainfall

  • Key Message Update
  • Zambia
  • January 2016
Crop conditions are poor in the extreme south due to erratic rainfall

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • While in most northern and central regions of the country, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to continue, in the southwestern Cereal Timber livelihood zone , food security is expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes by March. Households in this area are facing very limited local agricultural labor opportunities, so they are seeking labor in Namibia instead. Livestock prices in this area are also well below average, and food prices continue to be well above average.  

    • Following a generally late start of season in most areas, rainfall amounts have been below average, erratic, and poorly distributed for the southern half of the country (Southern, Central, Western, Lusaka, Eastern Provinces) due to the ongoing El Niño. These conditions  have resulted in delayed planting, a reduction in planted area, and  reduced cropping is likely to result in a smaller green harvest. Additionally, livestock are being moved long distances to access water, increasing the risk of disease outbreak.  

    • Although the country has more than adequate maize stocks to meet the needs for the remainder of the 2015/16 marketing season, the local maize and meal prices have remained significantly above the recent five-year average due to higher regional demand and higher production costs. Higher inflation is impacting the costs of staple food and other commodities, and continues to erode the purchasing power of poor households in both urban and rural areas.  

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    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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