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Average Season A harvest stabilizes food prices and enhances food access

  • Key Message Update
  • Burundi
  • January 2024
Average Season A harvest stabilizes food prices and enhances food access

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The Northern Livelihood zone is likely to transition from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in January 2024, owing to an early harvest of average 2024 Season A crops and increased labor wages, which have improved food access. The Eastern Lowlands and Eastern Dry Plateaus livelihood zones are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions until May 2024 due to below-average income-earning opportunities. Conversely, most areas in western Burundi are projected to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes, supported by the green harvest of Season A.
    • An average 2024 Season A harvest is expected due to favorable rainfall that started on time, along with increased availability of fertilizers and enhanced maize seeds, which are subsidized at 60 percent by the government. However, crops highly susceptible to excessive rainfall are expected to be negatively impacted, particularly beans, which account for 15 percent of the total Season A production and are predominantly cultivated in the north and east. As a result, below-average bean production is expected, especially in the Eastern Lowlands and Dry Plateaus. However, production of crops mostly tolerant of abundant rainfall, such as tubers, cereals, and bananas, is expected to be moderate, compensating for reduced production of beans. 
    • Along with the residual stocks from the above-average 2023 Season C harvest, the average 2024 Season A green harvests have stabilized the month-on-month trend in staple food prices. In December, maize, cassava, and sweet potato prices were stable compared to November, while bean and rice prices decreased by 20 percent and 5 percent, respectively. However, staple food prices remain 25 to 65 percent above last year’s average and 5 to 45 percent above the five-year average. These price increases are attributed to the increased cost of imported food due to national inflation, increased expenses for agricultural inputs, and elevated fuel and transportation costs. Despite these increased costs, labor wages have increased by about 40 percent compared to last year, improving purchasing power and enhancing access to food from markets. 
    • Due to funding shortfalls, approximately 56,000 refugees and asylum seekers are receiving about 75 percent of their usual food ration. This shortage in food assistance is likely to contribute to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes among these households. Approximately 3,650 individuals since November have returned to their homes and have been provided with a one-month full ration, inclusive of hot meals during their stay in transit centers, along with a three-month package to support their reintegration. Humanitarian assistance has been extended to nearly 47,000 individuals affected by climatic and socioeconomic shocks in Ngozi, Kirundo, Muyinga, Cibitoke, and Bujumbura through a combination of in-kind and cash transfers, covering 100 percent of their caloric needs for a month.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Burundi Key Message Update January 2024: Average Season A harvest stabilizes food prices and enhances food access, 2024.

    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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