Food Security Outlook

Food insecurity will remain a concern in the Lake Chad basin despite improved security conditions and crop availability

November 2017

October 2017 - January 2018

February - May 2018

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
Concentration of displaced people – hover over maps to view food security phase classifications for camps in Nigeria.
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
Concentration of displaced people – hover over maps to view food security phase classifications for camps in Nigeria.
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.

Key Messages

  • Harvests are ongoing and production levels may be above average. This will allow for the improvement of household stocks, the level of consumption of staple foods, and provide income through sales of production. However, production deficits are expected locally in several Sahelian countries due to poor rainfall and pests. Also, the lower than average level of pasture production in Mauritania and northern Senegal could lead to overcrowding in the neighboring areas of Mali and in parts of Senegal and lead to an early deterioration of pastoral conditions.

  • New harvests are contributing to the satisfactory supply of markets except in the Lake Chad region and northeastern Nigeria and to some extent in northern Mali where insecurity continues to disrupt food flows. With weak household demand, cereal prices are expected to fall and remain close to average, except in Mauritania and Nigeria, where the macroeconomic and political environment keeps prices high.

  • In general, the food security situation is expected to remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) in most of the region. However, in Mauritania, failure of rainfed crops, poor recession crop prospects and largely below-average pastoral production in the southwest will result in food insecurity at the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Crisis level (IPC Phase 3), among poor households until May 2018.

  • In Chad, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity will affect poor households from April to May 2018 in the Lake Chad zone (impacts of insecurity), Wadi Fira, Batha, Bahr- El-Gazel (BEG), Kanem and Lake because of the early 2017 lean season, the early and severe lean season in 2018 and the decline in purchasing power. The same level of food insecurity will be observed in Mali, in the Goundam Lake areas, in parts of the Western Sahel, Gao Gourma and Timbuktu where poor households will be affected by early depletion of stocks and increase grain prices.

  • In Nigeria, where there is a gradual improvement in security conditions and increased returns to LGA areas, the livelihoods of many poor and / or displaced households remain severely affected by years of conflict. Despite their dependence on food assistance, they are experiencing acute food insecurity at the Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) Level in northern Yobe and much of Borno and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in the south of these two states and in the extreme north of Adamawa. The high risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) remains in areas inaccessible by humanitarian agencies.

OUTLOOK BY COUNTRY

Burkina Faso             

  • Rain fed cereal production for the 2017-2018 crop year marred by numerous dry spells and fall armyworm infestations should generally be in line with the average, though there will be very severe production deficits in some areas. On the other hand, forecasts for cash crop production show above-average harvests with the supposedly larger areas planted in cash crops as a result of the uncertainty at the beginning of the season leading to the switch-over of certain cereal-growing areas to cash crop production. 
  • On the whole, the levels of watering holes are more than adequate, suggesting good water availability for livestock and good prospects for off-season activities (market gardening activities in particular). Moreover, the purchase price of gold in gold mining areas is up slightly from last year and close to the five-year average, which could help bolster the incomes of prospectors during the usual gold mining period (between November and May).
  • Staple food prices are still above the five-year average as the harvest season gets underway. However, most food supplies are from household crop production and the average to above-average levels of household income produced by the sale of cash crops should help provide access to a normal diet. This would help keep acute food insecurity at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels through next May, except in the case of very poor and poor households in livelihood zone 8 in the northern part of the country facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security conditions.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for Burkina Faso for October 2017 to May 2018.

 

Chad

  • The national cereal production – expected to be average at approximately three million metric tons, and the seasonal decline in cereal prices will lead to an improvement in food access and food consumption of poor households. Except for the 131,000 residents of the Lac region (Source: UNHCR) facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity outcomes due to the conflict, the rest of the country will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through January 2018. 
  • The replenished stocks from ongoing harvests will help households until the lean season (May 2018), except in certain areas affected by dry spells with low cereal production, where food stocks will be depleted by February or March of 2018.
  • Pasture resources are insufficient to meet livestock needs through next March-April, as in a normal year, due to localized dry spells. Thus, the lean season for pastoral populations (in Wadi Fira, Batha, Bahr-El-Gazel (BEG), Kanem, and Lac) will get off to an early start, by February, due to the deterioration of pasture conditions. Seasonal herd movements by transhumant livestock started in September instead of November.
  • The floods in Moyen Chari and Mandoul departments have affected 4,200 households, destroying close to 12,778 hectares of crops (Source: ANADER (National Rural Development Agency), Moyen Chari, September 20, 2017) and reducing yields of millet and sorghum. On the other hand, these floods are helping livestock (body condition and milk production) and creating good growing season conditions for off-season crops (berbéré and market garden crops).

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for Chad for October 2017 to May 2018.

 

Mali

  • Cereal production forecasts are approximately 35 percent above the five-year average despite the localized pockets of production shortfalls due to insufficient rainfall and/or damage by crop predators. In general, this should help create better-than-average cereal availability between October 2017 and May 2018.
  • The generally above-average levels of plant biomass production and average levels of watering holes suggest average grazing and watering conditions for livestock across the country. However, the pasture deficits in the northern Faguibine lake area and parts of the Western Sahel and Gourma area of Timbuktu will negatively affect food supplies for livestock and livestock production.
  • Household food access is steadily improving with the ongoing harvests and seasonal decline in cereal prices to near or slightly above-average levels. Likewise, pastoral households are profiting from near-average terms of trade for livestock /cereals with the higher prices of livestock.
  • Most poor households across the country will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through May 2018. However, the premature depletion of their food stocks and rising cereal prices will put poor households in lake areas of Goundam and parts of the Western Sahel and Gourma area of Gao and Timbuktu in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) phase of food insecurity between April and May 2018.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for Mali for October 2017 to May 2018.

 

Mauritania

  • Livestock sales in both farming and pastoral areas have multiplied and livestock prices on most livestock markets are declining because of the poor pastoral conditions, the atypical seasonal migration by transhumant pastoralists and their animals, and the food consumption needs (cereal purchases) engendered by the failure of rainfed crops. This is putting added pressure on a livelihood already weakened in the past four years. The steady impoverishment of these agropastoral households could trigger changes in their lifestyles and identity.
  • There are regular, adequate supplies of imported foods (rice, wheat, oil, sugar, etc.) on retail markets and coarse cereal supplies are visibly improving with the resumption of trade with Mali despite the poor yields of rainfed crops in September. Prices for wheat, the main cereal crop consumed by poor households at this time of the year, which have been stable thus far, are beginning to rise, fueled by demand from pastoralists, while their incomes are reportedly well below-average.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for Mauritania for October 2017 to May 2018.

 

Niger

  • Crop production estimates for rainfed and irrigated crops by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics point to average to good food availability and income-earning opportunities for farming households in 2017-2018 in all parts of the country with the exception of a few areas. The majority of these households are able to meet their food and nonfood needs and, thus, will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through at least May of 2018.
  • There are acceptable levels of pasture production in the pastoral zone, though with reports of production deficits in certain areas. The lower demand for exports with the devaluation of the naira and the continued security crisis will erode the market value of livestock and household purchasing power. Poor households will sell more animals than usual to bolster their food consumption but will be unable to meet essential nonfood expenses without food assistance and, thus, will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity as of March of 2018.
  • The ongoing harvests have improved the availability of crops on most markets. Procurements for the rebuilding of institutional food stocks and trader inventories are driving demand, which will help keep prices high through March of 2018.
  • The persistent civil security problems in the Diffa region are disrupting the livelihoods of local populations and impeding access by humanitarian actors to certain receiving areas for DPs. Displaced households and poor local populations in these inaccessible areas will continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity through at least May of 2018. The majority of these households will be unable to meet their food needs and will be highly dependent on humanitarian assistance.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for Niger for October 2017 to May 2018.

 

Nigeria

  • Boko Haram conflict in the northeast has severely limited normal livelihoods activities over several years. Many poor and/or displaced households in the region are highly dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet minimal food requirements, and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!). Many of those households unable to access assistance are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) or worse outcomes. 
  • Very limited staple harvests, high food prices, and poor labor opportunities will leave many households in the northeast heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance for food access throughout the outlook period. In the absence of continued assistance, most parts of Borno State, as well as Madagali and Michika LGAs in Adamawa State and Gujba and Gulani LGAs in Yobe State, are expected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes between February and at least May 2018. 
  • Information about conditions for populations who remain in inaccessible areas of the northeast is very limited. However, it is likely that households in areas cut-off from humanitarian access are facing more severe constraints to basic food and non-food needs, with an elevated risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) outcomes in these areas throughout the outlook period.
  • Main season harvests are underway across the country, and are expected to be average to above-average. Outside of the northeast, most poor households are currently consuming own-produced staples. Although progression of the rainy season was near-normal, main season harvests will be below average in areas affected by communal conflict, as well as in parts of central states affected by pest infestations and areas in central and southeastern states that experienced flooding during the season.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for Nigeria for October 2017 to May 2018.

 

Remote Monitoring Countries[1]

Central African Republic

  • The security crisis continues, with numerous reports of crimes and armed incursions, particularly in villages in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the country, triggering new displacements bringing the number of internally displaced persons to 600,250 according to estimates by the UNOCHA as of September 30, 2017.
  • In spite of the ongoing harvests, there is still poorer than average food availability and disruptions in market access and livelihoods across the country. This is driving up the prices of food products and weakening household purchasing power. It is also heightening WASH-related needs (water-sanitation-hygiene) and needs for shelters, protection, and education for poor households.
  • Ongoing conflicts continue to affect food security outcomes in the northwestern, southeastern, and central part of the country (Ouham Pende, Nana Mambéré, Basse Kotto, Mbomou, Haut Mbomou, and Haute Kotto). Most poor households in these areas with poor crop and animal production prospects and limited access to humanitarian assistance will remain in the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) stage of acute food insecurity through at least May of 2018.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for Central African Republic for October 2017 to May 2018.

 

[1] With remote monitoring, an analyst usually works from a nearby regional office, relying on a network of data partners. Compared to the countries above where FEWS NET has a local office, reports for countries monitored remotely may be less detailed.

EVENTS THAT COULD CHANGE THE SCENARIO

Table 1: Possible events in the next eight months that could change the outlook

Area

Possible events

Impacts on food security conditions

Northern Mali, Northeast Nigeria, Central African Republic and neighboring countries

 

 

 

 

 

Worsening civil insecurity

  • Increased number of IDPs and refugees in neighboring countries
  • Closure of borders of neighboring countries
  • Significant decrease in flows, very low offers in local markets
  • Very low grain flows from Nigeria to Niger, Chad and North Cameroon
  • Severe deterioration of household livelihoods and food and nutrition security
  • Persistent and worsening levels of food insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin

Mauritania

Obstacles to the transhumance of livestock to Mali and Senegal

  • Early deterioration of cattle body conditions
  • Significant deterioration in the price of livestock causing loss of income by pastoralist households
  • Reduced access to food by poor households in deficit areas that could experience premature a rise in prices - rising demand

East and Central Basin (Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali)

Substantial improvement in the value of the Nigerian currency

  • Renewed demand for livestock from Sahelian countries contributing to an improvement in the income of pastoral households in the Sahel

Central Basin (Mali and Burkina Faso)

Atypical purchases of institutional stocks in the sub-region from January 2017

  • Significant increase in demand
  • Early seasonal rise in local grain prices

 

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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