The seasonal forecast issued by the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) showed high chances of the country receiving below normal for the period October to December 2023. The month of October received above normal rainfall, however the rainfall was not well distributed in terms of time, November saw drier than usual rainfall conditions while in December the greater part of the country received normal to above normal rainfall. The seasonal forecast issued by the MSD showed high chances of normal to below normal rainfall during the second half of the season while that issued by Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF) showed high chances for of the greater part of the country receiving normal to above normal rainfall. The MSD and SARCOF are reviewing the forecast and will share an updated forecast soon.
The government estimated that more area had been planted under maize compared to the same period the previous season by end of December 2023. The government with the support of its partners has embarked on a drive for climate proof actions including planting short season varieties and small grains.
The number of households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is likely to increase in deficit-producing areas during the peak of the lean season due to depletion of own-produced food stocks, and limited access to income for market purchases.