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Farmers gain from improved prices as maize market competition stiffens

  • Key Message Update
  • Zambia
  • September 2016
Farmers gain from improved prices as maize market competition stiffens

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) will largely continue in most parts of the country. However between October 2016 and January 2017 Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected in districts in southeastern and southwestern Zambia, as well as Mambwe district in Eastern Province.  The majority of households in areas of concern are still largely depending on their reduced 2015/16 harvests a little longer than initially anticipated. These households are employing their normal livelihood strategies for now, but what is of concern in the next few months is the impact of the shortage of water for humans and livestock because some boreholes and streams have dried up.  Vegetable production, an off season income source for some households, will be negatively impacted and livestock conditions in major livestock rearing regions are expected to deteriorate. 

    • Maize meal and grain outflows continue into neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Malawi despite border monitoring efforts and restrictions on formal maize exports. This flow is being driven by the price differential and atypically high demand outside of Zambia. Traders are ferrying maize grain and maize meal in Malawi by using undesignated crossing points.  This marketing year, there has been an increased interaction between traders from Malawi and the DRC and Zambian farmers, resulting in lower profit margins for middlemen. 

    • The increased competition this marketing season has resulted in record maize buying prices of ZMK 2.2-2.4/kg for the Copperbelt and Eastern Provinces, respectively, during the June to early August period. These higher price have been highly beneficial to farmers.  Apart from maize, farmers are also receiving good prices for soybeans and sunflower and demand has been equally high.  Incomes that farmers are receiving through crop sales is likely to act as an incentive for farmers to increase production for the 2016/17 season, provided rainfall is good and input prices are more affordable.  

    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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