Below-average rainfall in southern and part of central Mozambique is likely to mean people need emergency food assistance starting in June this year, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has said.
FEWS NET’s latest Food Security Outlook, covering February through to September, predicts that some southern and central areas will experience total crop failure, with others seeing partial failure or very low crop yields.
Already in February, poor households in the south and center were expected to enter a “stressed” situation with regard to food security, as they continue to feel the lingering effects of the drought caused by El Ninõ in the 15/16 season. In the District of Chemba, in Sofala province, FEWS NET expects a food security “crisis” until the April harvest.
From June, the crisis is expected to spread more widely across the semi-arid zones of south and central Mozambique, forcing poor households to depend more heavily on collecting wild foods, and to buy less from markets.
Mozambique’s northern coastal areas are also struggling following heavy rainfalls which affected more than 80,000 people in mid-January, damaging more than 12,000 hectares of crops, of which 14% were completely destroyed.
Around 70% of Mozambique’s population depend on agriculture for a living, according to national statistics.
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