Skip to main content

Well-distributed and favorable rains support Season B crop growth

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burundi
  • April 2017
Well-distributed and favorable rains support Season B crop growth

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2017
  • Key Messages
    • Average to above-average February-April rainfall has been beneficial for crop development, already increasing the availability of tubers, bananas, and bean leaves ahead of the harvest. This additional food availability during the April-May lean season has likely kept the majority of poor households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), following a poor Season A. However, many poor households in portions of Kirundo, Muyinga, Bubanza, and Cibitoke provinces are likely still facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes due to nearly exhausted household food reserves and low purchasing power. 

    • Staple food prices are stable, and some have started to decline ahead of the 2017 Season B harvest expected in mid-May. However, food prices remain above last year’s levels and the five-year averages, constraining poor household access. 

    • Despite the Tanzania Government’s decision on January 20 to no longer grant prima facie refugee status to asylum-seekers from Burundi, and increasingly difficult food provision in refugee camps, the flow of asylum-seekers estimated at 450 per day over the last three months, has not abated. Inside Burundi, humanitarian assistance to Congolese refugees is also facing funding difficulties. Approximately 36 percent of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Burundi is for assistance for Congolese refugees. According to OCHA, as of April 21, the total HRP was only 29.2 percent funded, leaving a funding gap of USD 52.2 million.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • The Government of Burundi’s tight control of population movements across borders has restricted typical labor migration patterns, especially during the lean season, to Rwanda and Tanzania. The reduced labor income has constrained poor households’ food access.
    • As the Government of Burundi is unlikely to adjust its border policies in the near future, it is likely that poor households will continue to find alternative sources of employment, such as increased petty trade, to cope with the change in order to meet their minimum basic food purchases.

    Low altitude areas of Bubanza, Cibitoke, Kirundo, and Muyinga provinces

    • Food reserves for poor households have been nearly exhausted in these drought-prone areas, which experienced particularly poor 2017 Season A harvests. Poor households are relying mainly on markets to buy food, though bananas, cassava, and sweet potatoes’ roots, as well as bean leaves, are starting to provide additional food sources.
    • With favorable prospects for a near-normal harvest in these areas, it is projected that  improved food availability and falling staple food prices will lead to better food access, reducing the number of poor households in these areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

     


    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2017

    The food production shortfalls in January-February 2017, particularly in Kirundo, Muyinga, Bubanza, and Cibitoke provinces, and the Government of Tanzania’s temporary ban of food exports have resulted in staple food prices rising above last year’s and the five-year average levels; however, pre-harvest, they have begun to fall. For example, according to the Burundi Ministry of Agriculture, the price of beans in Kirundo market, which was BIF 1353 per kilogram in January, has fallen to BIF 1183 per kilogram in March, but this level is still 14 percent higher than a year ago (See Figure 1).

    If the current favorable rainfall performance and forecast holds, the coming harvests, starting by mid-May, are likely to be normal, which would significantly improve food availability and reduce prices further. Already some ongoing production of sweet potatoes, bananas, avocadoes, and bean leaves are offsetting nearly depleted household stocks ahead of the main harvest. A late March FEWS NET assessment confirmed that farmers appear to have maintained, or in some places even increased, the total area planted despite initial concerns before the start of the season that there would be severe seed shortages, and that the farmers who had not received free seed distributions would be unable to buy seeds on their own. Improved food availability and access is expected to reduce the number of households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as more move to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and None (IPC phase 1) acute food insecurity, including in the areas that had experienced the worst production shortfalls. However, some localized, very poor households with insufficient land to cultivate, particularly in portions of Kirundo, Muyinga, Bubanza, and Cibitoke provinces, could still face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes post-harvest mainly because of diminished opportunities to earn labor income from neighboring countries while food access continues to be constrained by above-average staple food prices.

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) has remained largely steady at about 169,000, of which about 60 percent were displaced by natural disasters. Located mainly in Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Kirundo, Makamba, Muyinga, Rumonge, Rutana, and Ruyigi provinces, most IDPs are hosted by families of relatives with whom they share food and other household essentials. As those provinces had high production shortfalls last season, those IDPs are likely to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes but are likely to see some improvements post-harvest. Burundi also hosts about 25,000 Congolese refugees, who given current WFP funding shortfalls and food sourcing issues, are likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity through September. Approximately 36 percent of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Burundi is for assistance for Congolese refugees. According to OCHA, as of April 21, the total HRP was only 29.2 percent funded, leaving a funding gap of USD 52.2 million.

    The majority of poor households are likely to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through September 2017 due to prospects for a favorable 2017 Season B, improved domestic on-farm labor opportunities, and in some instances, cash-for-work activities. However, given nearly depleted food stocks, constrained seasonal migration to Tanzania and Rwanda, and elevated staple food prices, some poor households in Kirundo, Muyinga, Bubanza, and Cibitoke provinces are expected to continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes through the end of the lean season in mid-May. Then through September, the number of poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely decrease. 

    Figures Prices of beans in Kirundo, Northern Lowlands Livelihoods Zone (BIF/kg)

    Figure 1

    Prices of beans in Kirundo, Northern Lowlands Livelihoods Zone (BIF/kg)

    Source: Système d'Information sur les Prix Agricoles, (MINAGRI)

    SEASONAL CALENDAR IN A TYPICAL YEAR

    Figure 2

    SEASONAL CALENDAR IN A TYPICAL YEAR

    Source: FEWS NET

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top