Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes emerge and expected to persist during the 2021/22 lean season

Lesotho Remote Monitoring Report, October 2021

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Photo by Richard Bell on Unsplash

Key Messages

As the lean season begins, household food stocks from own production are low, with reliance on markets for food increasing. While imports from South Africa are available and support normal market supply, high food prices and lower than average income continues to drive low purchasing power. This is expected to drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through the lean season in southern parts of Lesotho. In the rest of the country, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected.

Above-average rainfall is expected for the 2021/22 season. As there has been some rainfall in October, farmers are starting land preparation activities, especially in the mountains, where farming activities typically begin around October. Farming activities for the 2021/22 season are expected to be normal, but due to the high cost of inputs, area planted is likely to be lower than last year and below average.

Households typically rely on casual labor opportunities, including farming and labor migration to South Africa. Off-farm labor opportunities remain below average due to the compounding effects of COVID-19 restrictions locally and cross-border travel to labor markets in South Africa. Despite South Africa easing travel restrictions and reopening its economy, the level of remittances to Lesotho remains below average.

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