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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Inadequate funding, bane of food security in Southern Africa

Inadequate funding has been identified as the bane of the low level of assistance project in the battle for food security in the Southern Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet reports.

According to FEWS NET which estimates that most parts of the region will remain food secure throughout the outlook period, as at October 2013.

NaijaAgroNet reports that pockets of acute food insecurity existed in areas with reduced 2012/13 harvests due to shocks such as mid-season dry spells, pest infestations, and flooding.

Food access by households, NaijaAgroNet gathered that in these areas is already problematic, and the lean season is indicated to have begun earlier than the normal October/November start.

Throughout the outlook period; Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected in localized parts of Zimbabwe and Malawi in the presence of humanitarian assistance.

This was attributed to insufficient resource levels, with funds currently estimated at approximately 60 per cent of needs in both countries. The report pointed out that in parts of Malawi, outcomes worsened to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between January and March as resources dwindle and assistance is interrupted.

Intra-regional trade, the report emphasised is stabilizing staple grain supplies, in addition to formal and informal cross border trade especially exports from surplus producing parts of Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa; were expected to continue to play a key role in supplying deficit area markets across the region.

However, staple food prices were reportedly rising seasonably, prices remain high and are increasing faster in areas where market supplies are atypically low. Although estimated regional production is similar to last year and above the fiveyear average, tradable supplies were tighter due to localized production deficits in 2013, lower carry-over stocks, and strong export demand.

This is expected to continue to exert atypical upward pressure on maize prices.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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