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World Food Programme says food situation stable

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Tamani Nkhono Mvula

The World Food Programme (WFP) has said in its recent report that the food security situation has remained stable in the country for the past two consecutive months, thanks to a bumper yield.

The WFP report found that all interviewed households across the country were classified as having acceptable to borderline food consumption from the recent harvest.

It says the proportion of households who were employing the most severe consumption-based and emergency livelihood-based coping strategies decreased and remains at low levels, representing a sustained improvement in the food security situation, which is expected this time of the year.

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“The Household Round 15 survey data showed that most households (91 percent) are currently classified as having acceptable food consumption, a slight increase from 88 percent observed in the previous round.

“An upward trend denotes continued improvement in the overall food security situation, which is expected at this time of year, as it is the post-harvest period when a diverse variety of foods are abundantly available,” the report reads.

The stability in food security aligns with the current food inflation which has been on a downward spiral according to data from the National Statistics Office (NSO).

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The food inflation rate was seen at 1.5 percent in August 2020 from 2.1 percent in July while non-food inflation was stable at 0.4 percent.

Headline inflation stood at 8.4 prevent in August compared to 7.6 percent during the same time last year, with the food and non-food inflation rates standing at 9.7 and 7.2 percent, respectively.

Agriculture expert Tamani Nkhono Mvula said the situation portrays seasonality of the economy.

“This is the reality on the ground because we are still within the harvest period,” Mvula said.

Malawi’s food security is generally defined in terms of adequate production of, and access to, maize, the country’s staple crop.

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