This is one of five Country Issues Papers commissioned by the Forum for Food Security in Southern Africa.
The papers describe the food security policy framework in each focus country (Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and document the current priority food security concerns there, together with the range of stakeholder opinions on them. The papers have been written by residents of each country with knowledge of and expertise in the food security and policy environment.
The purpose of the papers is to identify the specific food security issues that are currently of greatest concern to stakeholders across the region, in order to provide a country-driven focus for the analytical work of the Forum for Food Security in Southern Africa.
In 2001/02 Mozambique experienced serious crop losses in the south of the country to drought with around one third of the expected harvest being lost in that region. In the north, however, harvests were good, so good that as much as 200kt of maize are reckoned to have been exported informally to Malawi. This has been of little use to the south, since it is so expensive to ship grains from the north to the south because of the poor communication infrastructure. The southern districts and a few in centre-interior have seen food availability fall disastrously low in 2002. To make matters worse these are areas that were hit badly by the floods of 2000, from which households have been making a slow recovery.