Food Security Framework | Underlying Factors
- Climate. Most households are facing more frequent recurring droughts, with drastic impacts on the rain-fed agriculture dependent households, in particular the southern region, and semi-arid central regions. The lack of rain results in an almost complete failure of non drought tolerant crops, such as maize. The occurrence and magnitude of cyclones in the coastal districts of Inhambane, Nampula, Sofala, and Zambézia provinces, and floods in central and southern rivers also undermine food security, causing temporary deficient food access.
- Poverty and fragile livelihoods. The poverty conditions of the rural and peri-urban in the country areas have weakened the ability of households to mitigate recurring shocks. Nearly 50 percent of households engage in food production as their main economic activity. These households will be vulnerable to production shocks such as drought, depending on how many other economic activities they are involved in (diversification).
- Food reserves. During a normal year, households will typically produce enough food to be self sufficient for an average of 3-5 months post harvest. After these reserves are consumed, households begin to rely on the purchase of food. In the south, in particular, households with no other sources of food or income, and in years of poor agricultural production (between October to January, the hungry period), experience food deficits and several coping strategies are used intensively, and often those are unsustainable.
- Markets. Poorly functioning markets is undoubtedly an important cause of food insecurity in Mozambique. The vast majority of these markets lack basic products. The most vulnerable parts of the country are characterized by remoteness and a lack of options for earning income. Markets scarcely function, and lack of effective demand (poverty) appears to be the main constraint to market functioning in many areas.
- Limited options. Poor households have limited options for generating cash to purchase food. The remoteness of these markets induce high food prices due to high transportation costs, limiting the access to food of low income households who rely on purchased food for consumption, mostly in south and central food deficit areas.
- Chronic malnutrition. Stunting in children under-five years is alarmingly high in Mozambique and represents a major developmental challenge for the country. Rates established by the baseline survey indicate that 46 percent of rural children under five are stunted with significant variation between provinces ? Nampula and Tete having the highest proportions of stunted children (63 percent and 51 percent, respectively) and Gaza and Inhambane having the lowest (31 percent and 32 percent, respectively).
- Limited delivery of services for health, water, and sanitation. This limits greatly the household?s access to basic services, in particular in the northern provinces. It is commonly known that even in high-surplus areas, health problems have compounded food insecurity conditions.
- Increase in the effective dependence ratio. The increasing prevalence of HIV cases results in the loss of an economically active household member.
- Government policies. Households have continued to depend on a declining agricultural sector. Government investment in the agricultural sector has fallen substantially over the years, and new developmental agriculture strategy is deemed necessary.