Mozambique: Acute Food Insecurity Situation for March-June 2016 and Projections for July-September 2016 and October 2016 - March 2017
31.03.2016 > 31.03.2017



& next steps


The situation for the March - June 2016 period reveals that over 20% of households in all areas analyzed, except Maputo, are classified in crisis (IPC Phase 3) and thus in need of urgent assistance to protect their livelihoods and relieve food consumption gaps as well as, in some areas, reduce acute malnutrition levels. Furthermore, about 5% of the population in Tete, Sofala and Gaza have extreme food gaps and thus are classified in emergency (IPC Phase 4). Those in IPC Phase 4 are likely to be those who have lost all harvest, do not own any animals and have no other significant sources of income out of those related to agricultural activities.

With regard to the projected situations, the seasonal calendar indicates that the period from November to February of each year is considered the lean period: food reserves are depleted, prices rise and households become more dependent on the market. The effects of the present El Niño on food security will be mainly felt from October 2015 until the green harvests, which are expected for March 2017. In the most affected areas, it is expected that food production from the first and second season will decrease between August and September 2016 affecting both the households’ abilities to eat from their own production and the availability of food in local markets at least until the green harvest. Historically, prices tend to decrease in the post-harvest period (May to Aug/Nov), and then an increase is usually noted from Sep/Nov to March (around 20%). Given the excessive increase of prices during the last 6 months, where prices were already 100-150% higher than normal, it is estimated that prices will stabilize in August-October and will then increase again at least 15-20% more than in April 2016. In summary, the following is expected for the projected periods:

  • Slight improvement from July to September 2016: a slight improvement in the situation is expected by the harvest of the first and second season, albeit meagre, will be available and prices are likely to slightly decrease. To note that, for the second season, normal rainfall is expected in some areas of the most affected provinces, such as in Inhambane, Sofala and Maputo. In other provinces, the rainfall is expected to be below normal levels, especially in the provinces of Manica, Gaza and Tete, thus affecting the second season harvests. It is expected that between 20 and 55% of the household will experience minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1). Those are the households who harvested some crops and have animals that can be sold. About 30-60% of households are expected to be experiencing stress and instability (IPC Phase 2) but to be able to consume enough food with low use of unsustainable livelihood strategies. It is expected that 5 to 10% of the households classified in IPC Phase 3 during March 2016 will improve and get into IPC Phase 2, due to harvested crops and transitory prices stability. In total, 15 to 20% of the households will remain in IPC Phase 3. These include mainly households that lost all their first season harvest, had no reserves in March 2016, no access to the lowlands with water facilities for the second season, little or no animals to sell and a high reliance on own food production and sale of agricultural products. These are usually the poorest households.  

  • Worsening situation from October 2016 to March 2017: The situation will likely deteriorate, since the second-season crops will be limited even in the areas expecting good rainfall, due to limited soil humidity and the first season crops will be finished or insufficient, while prices are expected to rise again. Although the situation will deteriorate, it is expected that some households will be able to turn to other sources of income during this time, such as casual labor, migration and selling animals. In general, 20-45% of households that still have some agricultural reserve, and/or have animals and/or other sources of income will remain in IPC Phase 1 as they will be able to access enough food without further stressing their livelihoods. Some households that are projected in IPC Phase 2 during July-September 2016 are likely to spiral down into Phase 3 as the production from first and second season are expected to finish and their high reliance on the sale of agricultural products and own production against the high food prices will limit their ability to purchase food. Data from SETSAN survey (March 2016) reveal pre-harvest situation based on the crop year 2015/16 which, although not good in some areas, was significantly better than the current agricultural year 2016/17. Thus, it is expected that the situation between November 2016 and February 2017 will be worse than the situation found in March 2016. For this period, it is estimated that 30-45% of households will be in IPC Phase 3 or 4. These are the households that will have no food reserve, and no or very limited access to other sources of income. They will have already sold animals or will not have animals to sell. These households are likely to increase dependency on the consumption of wild foods and engage in unstainable livelihood activities, such as charcoal sale. Among these, it is estimated that 5 to 10% of households will be in IPC Phase 4.

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