Reference Date: 12-February-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Overall favourable prospects for the 2014 cereal crop
Maize production expands marginally in 2013
Sharp increase in maize prices in central and northern markets
Food security conditions generally stable, but conflict in central and southern areas affect household food security
Favourable cereal production prospects for 2014
Harvesting of the 2014 cereal crops will begin in March in southern provinces, while crops in northern areas are expected to reach maturity in April‑May. Rains during the current 2013/14 cropping season (October‑June) have been generally satisfactory, with some rainfall deficits recorded in northern interior areas in the last quarter of 2013. Limited crop damage in localised areas in the centre and north were caused by heavy rains in January and subsequent flooding, and an outbreak of army worms in Nampula province. However, overall, early indications point to a slight expansion in plantings this year and prospects are for an above average harvest.
Minor increase in the 2013 cereal harvest
The 2013 cereal output was estimated at about 2.2 million tonnes, marking a marginal increase over the previous year’s harvest. Generally good climatic conditions largely accounted for the production gains in 2013, but some flood damage in the southern province of Gaza resulted in the loss of about 153 000 hectares of crops (approximately 3 percent of the total planted areas at the national level). However, an expansion in post-flood plantings and subsequently improved production of the secondary season crop, harvested between August and September 2013, off‑set some of the production losses and helped to maintain good supplies in southern flood affected areas.
Maize prices rise markedly in central and northern markets
Overall, maize prices firmed up during the last quarter of 2013 and the start of 2014 and in several markets prices reached record levels at the start of 2014. In the northern city of Nampula, prices rose markedly in January after a stable period since September, with similar month‑on‑month increases observed in markets in central provinces. In the southern town of Chokwe, prices of maize continued their decline, with an above-normal secondary season harvest at the end of 2013 boosting local supplies. While maize prices have shown generally increasing trends, prices of rice, a staple food in the capital Maputo, have remained stable during most of 2013 and into January, supported by stable or falling international prices. Furthermore, the strengthening of the national currency (metical) against the South African Rand helped to stem imported inflationary pressure, particularly as maize prices in South Africa increased sharply since December to reach record levels at the start of 2014.
Food security situation generally stable
Overall, food security conditions are generally stable. Households that suffered production losses due to floods in the southern Limpopo river basin (Gaza province) in 2013, benefited from residual flood waters to increase production in the second season, mitigating the impact of earlier production shortfalls. Conflict between security forces and Resistência Nacional Mocambiçana (Renamo) in localised parts of central and southern provinces, including the districts of Gorongosa, Chibabava, Maringue, Homoine and Funhalouro resulted in some population displacement, disrupting cropping activities of the affected households, and restricting market access. The government and humanitarian partners are providing assistance.