Consecutive years of good harvests make for stable regional food security conditions
• Most parts of the region remain food secure following three consecutive years of average to above‐average crop harvests. Consequently, staple food prices have stabilized, and are declining, particularly in surplus‐producing areas. The situation is expected to remain stable across the region until the start of the lean season in October/November. However, reduced harvests in areas affected by floods and/ or prolonged mid‐season dry spells have resulted in pockets of food insecurity in localized areas where food access has become problematic for affected households.
• Food prices in markets located in surplus‐producing areas continue to follow normal post‐harvest seasonal trends (stabilization and/or decline), while those in grain deficient and/or high consumption areas depict anomalous price increases. Price levels and trends are also being influenced by other factors including national government policies on trade (trade bans, import duties and others), and the efficiency with which food is moved internally or across borders from surplus to deficit areas.
• The 2011 national VAC assessment findings released in July point to varying food insecurity levels across countries; a few have recorded higher levels of food insecurity, while most are more food secure compared to the two previous seasons and the past five‐year average. Higher levels of food insecurity are reported in Lesotho, and are expected in Namibia, the two countries where the impact of excessive rains and floods on crop production and livelihoods was most severe and more widespread. Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia are yet to complete and release their assessment results.