28 November 2012

Mozambique: Normal Start to Rainy Season

London — The US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has reported that there has been a normal start to the rainy season in Mozambique, with food insecurity being limited to a few areas.

According to its latest Food Security Update, the majority of rural households throughout the country are able to meet their basic food needs.

However, there is food insecurity in parts of Mozambique that were affected by drought during the 2011/2012 main harvest. FEWS NET warns that poor and very poor households in Chicualacuala and Chigubo districts (in Gaza province), Funhalouro and Panda (in Inhambane) and Machanga (in Sofala) are currently facing problems in obtaining food due to low and unreliable income levels.

The report points out that data gathered by the National Institute of Meteorology (INAM) shows that the rainy season began early in Maputo and Gaza provinces and rainfall has been normal to above normal in those areas, “creating conditions that are beneficial for seasonal planting”.

It points out that crops are expected to be readily available for purchase in southern markets in January due to the early onset of the rainy season.

While it is encouraging that FEWS NET can report that food insecurity is currently limited to a few areas, especially as December lies within what is known as the “hunger season”, food insecurity does remain an endemic problem.

In October, the World Food Programme (WFP) reported that just under a quarter of the Mozambican population – more than six million people – faced some kind of food insecurity during the year.

The Maputo representative of the WFP, Lola Castro, stated that this did not mean that during the entire year a quarter of the population went hungry, but that for at least part of the time they faced food shortages.

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