Burkina faso flag

Remotely Monitored Country
Food Security Outlook

Food security outlook for the far north dependent on trends in livestock prices

February 2017 to September 2017

February - May 2017

Burkina Faso February 2017 Food Security Projections for February to May

June - September 2017

Burkina Faso February 2017 Food Security Projections for June to September

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • In spite of generally below-average harvests, food consumption by poor households in the far north of the country is still in line with the norm, based mainly on household production. Between now and April, they will not be forced to resort to any atypical strategies to maintain their food access and will experience Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1).

  • Market gardening activities currently underway, assisted by good water availability, are serving as an alternative source of income for farmers, preventing them from having to sell their cereal crops at low prices immediately after the harvest. These activities are providing jobs for very poor households while, at the same time, helping to strengthen and diversify the supply of market garden crops. Markets are already fairly well stocked with cereal crops that are selling at prices close to the five-year average. 

  • Livestock markets across the country are still being affected by the decreased demand from Nigeria. Markets in the far north are also experiencing difficulties from the recurrent terrorist attacks, which are driving down the prices of livestock and reducing household purchasing power, particularly that of the poorest households. In the coming months, households that are normally already highly market-dependent will be even more dependent on local markets, while their weak purchasing power will curtail their food access. As a result, they will be facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity between April and September.

NATIONAL OVERVIEW

 

Current situation

Crop production

National cereal production for the 2016-2017 crop year is projected to be 4,705,030 metric tons, which puts it up by 12.30 percent from the previous crop year and 6.48 percent above the five-year average.

Markets and trade flows

There are average diversified supplies of food crops on markets around the country, with a large presence of market garden produce and tubers (sweet potatoes, potatoes, and yams). Market garden production is flourishing, spurred by good water availability and assistance from the government and its partners for off-season farming activities, providing farmers with enough income to enable them to better time the marketing of their cereal crops.

There is still little household demand for staple cereals on local markets, with most households still relying on home-grown crops for their food consumption. In general, prices are unchanged from last year but are reportedly slightly below the five-year average by four percent in the case of maize, five percent in the case of sorghum, and three percent in the case of millet. Prices for cash crops such as cowpeas and sesame are up from last year by nine percent and 10 to 20 percent respectively, while groundnut prices are down by 15 percent. They are all still close to the five-year average.

Business on livestock markets remains slow, particularly in the case of cattle, and exports to Nigeria are still down. The only potential markets for exporters (Benin, Ghana, Côte-d’Ivoire, and Togo) are currently saturated with surplus supplies of animals. However, the crisis on the large ruminant market driving prices down to approximately 20 percent below-average will only marginally affect very poor and poor households whose food access does not depend on the sale of large animals. On the other hand, February prices for small ruminants which, in general, were close to the five-year average on most markets should be of benefit to very poor households. The recurrent terrorist attacks in the far north of the country are shutting down schools and disrupting livestock markets in certain areas (as in the case of the Djibo market).

Income

As usual, poor households are earning income from market gardening and gold panning activities and other sources such as construction work, the sale of fodder and straw fencing, and the sale of small ruminants and poultry. The average price of a gram of gold at gold prospecting sites is currently at 28,000 CFAF, up from 25,000 CFAF at harvest time, which is approximately 20 percent above the five-year average. Such a lucrative price is fanning the enthusiasm of prospectors at these sites.

Humanitarian assistance

Once again, the government and its partners are planning to mount various humanitarian assistance programs this year, including cash transfer programs, subsidized cereal sales programs, and treatment programs for acute malnutrition. However, their plans have not yet translated into any actual field operations.

Assumptions      

The most likely food security scenario for February through September May 2017 is based on the following general assumptions:

  • An average rainy season: Seasonal forecasts are calling for a timely start of the rainy season across the country. Likewise, they are projecting a near-average distribution of rainfall and normal end-of-season.
  • Near-average staple food prices: Average market supplies of cereal crops, normal supplies of market garden crops, and a standard household demand will keep movements in staple food prices in line with average seasonal trends throughout the outlook period.
  • Normal to above-normal incomes: Sales of small ruminants and market garden crops (between February and May) at stable prices, the rise in the purchase price of a gram of gold, and the usual demand for farm labor (for land preparation work through May and crop maintenance work between July and September) should help provide poor households with near to above-average incomes.
  • A typical lean season in pastoral areas: The average levels of watering holes and average pasture availability should help get livestock through a normal lean season between March and June, pending the growth of fresh pasture beginning in July with the timely start of the rainy season. This will help ensure timely return migration by transhumant livestock herds.

Most likely food security outcome

Stable prices for staple foodstuffs and normal to above-normal levels of income-generation will help give poor households near-normal food access during the outlook period. The timely start-of-season will help ensure the usual availability of wild plant foods, milk, and early green maize and short-cycle millet crops.

Normal food consumption will help stabilize global acute malnutrition rates at levels close to the five-year median rate (8.6 percent). Accordingly, most poor households will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity throughout the entire outlook period.

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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