The food security situation in the country is fairly stable. The Zambia Vulnerability Assessment has revealed that most households are food secure despite a small decrease in overall staple food production. A population of 62,842 people living in five districts (Chama, Chikankata, Gwembe, Mambwe and Mazabuka) are acutely food insecure. Dry spells and flooding during the 2011/2012 rainy season are the main drivers of food insecurity in these districts. As the 2012/13 marketing season progresses, an increase in maize meal prices (due to high demand from millers) is contributing to food insecurity.
Over the next three months, most rural households will continue to have adequate food stocks from own production. However, the situation will likely be different in areas that depend on food purchases, such as the valley and urban areas, as the prices of maize meal are likely to increase further. The peak lean period will be reached in December 2012 and January 2013 as staple food availability declines on markets.