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Well-distributed rainfall improves prospects for average to above-average harvests

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • April 2019
Well-distributed rainfall improves prospects for average to above-average harvests

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In April, generally average and well-distributed rainfall has been favorable for crop growth, except in localized areas of Makamba and Cankuzo provinces where it was below-average and erratic. Based on observed crop growth to date and given the forecast of average May-June rainfall, Season B harvests are expected to be average to above average. With staple food prices remaining below the 2018 average, most households are expected to meet their minimum food needs through September. However, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely in parts of provinces prone to natural hazard shocks, such as Ruyigi and Kirundo, where poor households are still unable to meet some essential non-food needs.

    • In localized areas of Kirundo province that had significant season 2019 A production deficits, particularly in Busoni Commune, most poor households have recovered to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through expanded vegetable production along neighboring lakes, semi-perennial crop production, and food purchases. After WFP distributed 30-day rations in March, agricultural labor demand and wage rates rebounded to near-normal levels, driven by Season B activities. Household income is expected to remain normal through September, given positive prospects for May/June harvests. The very poor are also receiving non-emergency cash transfers from social safety net programs, most significantly from a program implemented by Concern Worldwide.

    • At the national level, the Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (ISTEEBU) reports that staple food prices in March were 8 percent below March 2018. According to key informants, prices of maize, rice, bananas, roots, and tubers in Kirundo remain lower in April 2019 than one year ago, but the price of beans is about 25 percent higher. Due to above-average aggregate crop production in season 2019 A and likely average to above-average Season 2019 B production in May/June, food prices are likely to decline in June and remain relatively stable until early September.

    • Of ongoing concern are an estimated 125,000 IDPs and 43,000 Congolese refugees living in settlements, as well as some of the 62,000 repatriated Burundian refugees who have voluntarily returned from Tanzania but have not yet been able to resume their former livelihood activities. WFP provides a 3-month of food and cash return package to newly arrived returnees, including 3,700 arrivals in February 2019. These populations of concern are most likely Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!), but many would be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the absence of assistance.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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