Key Message Update

High staple food prices continue to erode consumer purchasing power

March 2016

March - May 2016

Zambia March 2016 Food Security Projections for March to May

June - September 2016

Zambia March 2016 Food Security Projections for June to September

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes are likely to continue in most areas from March to September, however, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected in the extreme southern parts of the country which were affected by prolonged dry spells and poorly distributed rains due to the El Niño conditions  during the first half  of the cropping season. FEWS NET projects that some localized areas will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) for the remainder of the outlook period. Factors contributing to acute food insecurity include delayed and reduced access to the green harvest due to the delayed start of season, the extension of the lean period by at least a month, and atypically high market demand for staple food (mostly maize meal). 

  • With increased market demand for staple food, maize and meal prices have remained very high though relatively stable in most areas in the January to February period with the exception of border towns. Prices are at least 50 percent above the recent five-year average, which is negatively impacting poorer household purchasing power. While maize exports have declined due to reduced market supply, informal exports of maize meal have atypically increased to almost all neighboring countries (Malawi, DRC, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola and Namibia) due to increased regional demand. This higher than normal demand is expected to keep local prices above average. Malawi and the DRC remain the highest importers of informal maize meal.   

  • Rainfall over the past few months has increased. However, the improved moisture is likely too late to improve crops that were permanently damaged by the dryness and high temperatures in the southern parts of the country.  The late planted crops in the southern region that are in the early to mid-reproductive stage will greatly benefit from these rains. Livestock conditions will improve as well because of increased pastures and water availability.  Areas expected to experience significant reductions in production output  include Western Province, most of Southern and Lusaka Provinces, as well as southern parts of Eastern Province. Based on the water requirement index (WRSI) and field reports, crops conditions in these areas are mediocre. 

  • Local maize stocks are estimated at 848,000 MT, with 216,000 MT committed to exports. These supplies are adequate to meet Zambian demand up to August 2016. The next harvest expected in May should improve stocks in order to meet national needs through the end of the 2016/17 marketing season. 

For more detailed analysis, see the Food Security Outlook/Remote Monitoring Update for February – September 2016.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics