Acute food insecurity has decreased in Mozambique from 13% to 10% of the population, according to a report presented today by the Minister of Agriculture, Celso Correia, along with partners.
“We are reducing the number of people who are food insecure. We were saying that the global trend is to increase, we are reducing at our pace, so we believe that we are, perhaps, on the right path,” said the minister.
Celso Correia was speaking during a public event to launch the Post-Harvest Food Security Report 2022, together with partners, such as the World Food Programme (WFP), and broadcast live on television.
In the period under review, from November 2022 until this month (i.e. post-harvest period), “around 90% of the Mozambican population had an acceptable diet to meet their daily energy needs”.
There are 10% who are “in acute food insecurity”, or about three million people, a fifth of whom are in Cabo Delgado province, due to the armed insurgency that has lasted there for five years.
Someone is considered to be food insecure when they do not know where their next meal will come from or when.
The report also states that of those who can meet their food needs, 38 per cent are then under pressure to meet their non-food needs.
According to the document, there is no population in the formal classification of ‘hunger’ according to international indicators – the most serious classification of all, more than food insecurity, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).
Celso Correia pointed out that the recent cyclones that hit Mozambique, causing floods with severe damage, should lead to a new survey with updated data.
In the chapter on natural disasters, it is recommended that direct food assistance needs should be anticipated annually.
“We have to stop calculating the assistance after the disaster has happened,” because the occurrence of disasters “is recurrent,” the minister pointed out.
The Agriculture Minister argued at today’s event that the way forward should include changes in support for the agricultural sector with seven-year cycles that empower producers, rather than short aid after which they return to misery.
“We cannot be a laboratory for experiments” of two to four years, at the end of which, “when the resources run out, families return to poverty,” he said.
The report by the Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (Setsan) had a larger sample size, growing from 51 to 151 districts and from 5,064 to 12,890 households, which allowed for “a more precise assessment”.