The revised forecast indicates poor rainfall is expected to continue in Malawi, likely resulting in a below-average 2022 harvest, says the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).
In Malawi, ongoing drought conditions and record low rainfall totals exist across most areas, particularly the Central and Northern regions.
“However, two preceding years of above-average production is likely mitigating against an immediate deterioration in food security outcomes,” FEWS NET said.
“But, in the Lower Shire Livelihood Zone districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa, where below-average production was realised last season, very poor households have started to face food gaps and are in Crisis.”
It said there are record rainfall deficits across nearly all of Malawi.
Overall, despite an exceptionally poor start to the rainfall season, food security conditions in most of Malawi remain favourable, according to FEWS NET.
“This is driven by two consecutive preceding above-average harvests, continued labour opportunities, and below-average food prices. As a result, the impacts of the drought in the immediate term remain minimal for most households, although some very poor households may experience a reduction in income and reduced food access.
“However, crisis outcomes are expected in the Lower Shire Livelihood Zone districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa, where production in the preceding season was below average and households are atypically reliant on markets but unable to afford all food needs,” it said. Based on revised weather forecast models and the very poor start of the 2020/21 rainfall, the 2020/21 rainfall season is expected to be below average. Near-term rainfall forecast up to early January indicates that 14 livelihood zones are likely to experience their driest season on record (through mid-January), particularly in central and northern regions – HARARE