Moderate levels of food insecurity are currently observed in most monitored areas (Shan State, the Dry Zone and northern Chin State) but food insecurity is decidedly more severe in northern and central Rakhine State and parts of southern Chin State.
Overall, the outlook for the next three months is positive as food availability should improve with the coming monsoon harvests. This positive outlook is tempered somewhat by the succession of natural and man-made disasters which have recently impacted various parts of the country. August flooding in Ayeyarwady Region will impact the country’s rice production. Close to 126,000 acres of paddy were damaged while 55,000 were destroyed. While losses could be mitigated to some extent by a second planting post monsoon, shortfalls are projected to impact local and regional rice prices in the coming months. Heavy rains alongside conflict and insecurity are currently impacting rice production in parts of Rakhine, Kachin and Northern Shan States, as significant amounts of paddy land were not accessible for cultivation. Drought-like conditions in August in Magway have damaged the sesame, groundnut and pigeon pea harvests. Consequently, sesame and groundnut prices are now 70per cent higher than last year. While the situation has since stabilized, increased debt and loss of livestock (due to distress selling) will continue to impact households in the near-term.