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Mozambique Food Security Outlook: April - September 2008
April 2008
Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET)


Summary

Figure 1: Current estimated food security
conditions, first quarter 2008 (Jan to Mar)
  • Food security is a significant concern in flooded areas along river basins in central Mozambique and could spread as additional heavy rains are forecast and cyclones possible during the remainder of the season through the end of March. The Vulnerability Analysis Group (GAV) of the Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN) has estimated that around 258,000 persons affected by floods are in need of humanitarian assistance until March 2008 in the Zambeze, Save, Pungué and Buzi basins, and at least 226,500 of these people are expected to require assistance through May 2008. Further assessments in April will determine the level of needs after this point. Elsewhere in central Mozambique, food security conditions are favorable.


  • Pockets of moderate food insecurity exist in parts of central and southern Mozambique affected by last year’s drought, and 471,000 people in need will benefit from humanitarian assistance until the end of March, as the next cereal harvests begin. The majority of farmers in those areas planted crops before December, and many are now harvesting. However, crops in the south and central, particularly those planted after December, have been significantly affected by low rainfall and the temperatures since February, and many areas are facing reduced crop yields up to 50 percent due to the dryness. A current concern now is that if the dryness persists, the accumulation of soil moisture may be insufficient for the requirements of the second cropping season. In some areas where flooding occurred, this is not a concern, as sufficient soil moisture will remain after the recession of the flood waters.


  • In the most likely scenario, from April to September 2008, the combination of the humanitarian aid in the flood affected areas, the relatively good harvest of the first agriculture season (and increased food availability and access) and the expected favorable agro]climatic conditions for the second season thanks to high levels of residual moisture are expected to significantly improve the food security situation in southern and central Mozambique. In the north, the majority of households will be generally food secure, except in the coastal areas of Nampula that was hard hit by Cyclone Jokwe, thus households may face temporary food deficits.


  • In the worst case scenario, the post flood recovery process could be limited by an inadequate level of humanitarian assistance, which will result in deterioration of food security conditions in the resettlement centers and other flood affected areas, and by inadequate supply of inputs of inputs for the second season. In other areas, this scenario’s assumptions include first cropping season production below the expected level and the persisting dry conditions that will decrease the soil moisture for subsequent planting and reduce water available for both human and animals.

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