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Mozambique Food Security Outlook Update, December 2021

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Below-average rainfall likely to impact agricultural production in northern Mozambique


  • Delays in the onset of rainfall, above-average temperatures, and prolonged dry spells across Mozambique are likely to impact potential harvests for the 2021/22 agricultural season, particularly in northern Mozambique. However, early planted crops in Maputo province and the southern part of Gaza province have recovered following improved rainfall in December, but localized areas are likely to replant. In Inhambane province, northern Gaza province, and central Mozambique, the effective start of rainfall was delayed for 20-30 days before beginning in mid-to-late December. In northern Mozambique, cumulative rainfall is less than 45 percent of the long-term average. Across Mozambique, households are planting whenever it rains, depending on seed availability.

  • Most poor households are facing None (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, but area-level Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist in areas impacted by natural shocks over the past three years. In Cabo Delgado, most households have been unable to engage in the 2021/22 agricultural season. Conflict-affected areas are likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with humanitarian food assistance (HFA) driving Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes in more secure areas. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to emerge in Mecula district, Niassa province, following attacks by insurgents. In urban and peri-urban areas, most poor households remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to below-average economic activity from COVID-19 prevention measures.

  • In November 2021, Food Security Cluster (FSC) partners provided humanitarian food assistance (HFA) to around 806,000 people in northern Mozambique. Due to limited resources, WFP provided half monthly rations equivalent to 39 percent of daily kcals in November and December. The distribution of full rations is likely to resume in January 2022. Other humanitarian organizations are also providing HFA to accessible areas in coordination with the Food Security Cluster and district authorities. However, attacks along the border with Tanzania and in Niassa province are displacing households and increasing humanitarian assistance needs.

  • In November 2021, maize grain prices remained atypically stable or declined in most monitored markets. The maize grain prices are likely self-adjusting to offset the high maize grain prices in 2019 and 2020. In November, maize grain prices are 6 to 50 percent lower than last year, except in Montepuez where maize grain prices are 20 percent above last year's prices. Compared to the five-year average, November maize grain prices are 15 to 36 percent lower, except in Montepuez, where maize grain prices are 51 percent above the five-year average. Maize grain prices are similar to the five-year average in Maputo, Massinga, and Bárue. As typical, maize meal and rice prices are relatively stable, with mixed trends compared to last year and the five-year average.