Summary and implications
Markets and Prices
Preparations for Next Season
Food aid distributions are gathering momentum as the number of households in need of food aid increases. 100 percent of the targeted beneficiaries will be covered from October to December. This is an improvement upon the coverage rate of 55 percent between July and September. Additional resources are needed to ensure that all the targeted beneficiaries are reached. Improved
coverage of beneficiaries is critical as the agricultural season approaches. At that time, people are expected to be working in their gardens, but without food, many households will be forced to spend a disproportionate amount of time on off farm activities trying to earn income that they need to buy food. This could in turn affect production even if the country experiences good rains in the next season. The recent announcement by the British High Commission to provide an additional 5 million pounds for the procurement of maize and the World Bank grant of $30 million for balance of payments support are therefore welcome developments.
Maize prices in the local markets continue to rise, forcing most of the poor households to resort to ADMARC markets for food. Due to insufficient stocks, ADMARC must ration maize at 25kg per person day. Most of the local markets are recording prices above MK25.00/kg compared to the ADMARC fixed price of MK17.00/kg. The continuous retail price increases, more pronounced in the south, are indicative of a rapidly deteriorating food supply situation in the region.