Published On: Mon, Aug 27th, 2018

Mozambique terror, Zim cash crunch affect grain supplies

Zimbabwe agricMAPUTO – SPORADIC attacks by suspected Islamist extremists are projected to worsen livelihoods in drought-stricken Mozambique, which is among the countries worst hit by the most severe droughts in the Southern
African region in years.

The militancy, mostly in the northernmost Cabo Delgado Province, has displaced households and disrupted livelihoods while households are facing increased difficulty accessing markets and fields.

According to Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), a leading provider of information and analysis on food insecurity, it is estimated the displaced population is less than 20 percent of the affected districts’ total populations.

“However, the continuation of attacks and displacement may lead to further disruption of livelihoods and Stressed Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phase 2 or even Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes could occur,” the agency stated.

Ansar al-Sunna, also known by its original name, “Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamo”, is said to be behind the terror that has claimed at least 103 lives, including 83 civilians, in the terror spree dating back to last October.

The insurgency comes at a time farming households across most typical deficit crop-producing areas in the south, west and extreme northern regions of the country have depleted their own-produced food stocks from the 2017-18 harvest.

FEWS NET projected the deficits to deepen from August through the peak of the lean season in 2019.

In typical surplus crop-producing areas in the north and other parts of the country, current food security outcomes are “minimal” (IPC Phase 1) and “stressed” (IPC Phase 2).

However, from August onwards these areas will predominantly be “stressed” because poor households will face increasing challenges in meeting their basic livelihood needs.

Nonetheless, harvested maize grain continues to supply local markets, and in major reference markets, prices continue to decrease or remain stable.

On average, June retail maize grain prices were the same as last year’s
prices and 13 percent below the five-year average among monitored markets.

In neighbouring Zimbabwe, constrained livelihoods linked to the ongoing cash shortages continue limiting poor households’ access to food and other basic needs.

Below-average incomes from crop and livestock sales, remittances, petty trade, and limited better-off households’ food stocks are affecting labor opportunities for poor households, wage-rates, as well as self-employment
prospects, according to FEWS NET.

“Across large parts of the country, some poor households are already
increasing and extending their consumption and livelihood coping options, and in some cases disposing of critical productive assets to get food.”

Farming households across most typical deficit crop-producing areas in the south, west, and extreme northern regions of the country have depleted their own-produced food stocks from the 2017-18 harvest.

During the ongoing month onwards, these areas will predominantly face increasing challenges in meeting basic livelihood needs.

Nonetheless, most markets are receiving supplies of cereal crops from the 2018 harvest.

The seasonal decrease in maize grain prices following the harvests
continues to be marginal.

For June, the staple maize cost $0,29 (R4,18)/kg, which is about 17 percent below the five-year average.
– CAJ News

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