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Favorable Season B harvest expected to improve food security

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burundi
  • June 2016
Favorable Season B harvest expected to improve food security

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through January 2017
  • Key Messages
    • Continued high levels of violence and insecurity in the capital have disrupted livelihoods by reducing the number of job opportunities available and constraining free movement. As a result, poor urban households and labor-dependent households in zones neighboring Bujumbura have below-average income and face increased difficulty meeting their basic food and non-food needs. Many are likely Stressed (IPC Phase 2). 

    • February to April rainfall was average to above-average throughout most of the country and, as a result, the June/July harvest is expected to be average to above-average. From late 2015, staple food prices have reduced significantly. Given the expectation of favorable Season B production, staple food prices are expected to remain near five-year averages throughout the outlook period.  

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

     PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    •  Disruptions from conflict and poor macroeconomic conditions, including weak GDP growth and a deteriorating business climate, have reduced the number of, and access to, labor opportunities.
    • As of June 20, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported 267,887 Burundians have sought refuge in neighboring countries due to the conflict. From November 2015 to March 2016, an average of 7,000 persons a month fled Burundi, compared to 5,000 a month in April and May.
    • Expected further depreciation of the Burundi Franc (BIF) throughout 2016 will reduce households’ real income, lowering purchasing capacity.
    • Continued macroeconomic instability and austerity measures put in place by the Burundi Government will continue to limit access to basic social services.
    • Alongside continued conflict, it is expected the number of refugees from Burundi will continue to increase, although not at rates higher than currently observed.

    Projected Outlook Through January 2017

    In most of the country, the area planted in Season B was near normal, and average to above-average February to April rainfall (Figure 1) supported favorable crop development. The ongoing harvest indicates average to above-average production, which should allow most poor households to meet their basic food needs. The level of conflict in most areas outside of Bujumbura has been relatively low (Figure 2) and it is expected that conflict will not severely disrupt the June to September Season B harvest, or the upcoming Season C and A growing seasons.

    Prices in most areas have decreased in recent months, remaining only slightly above five-year averages, after sharply increasing in late 2015. In April, the price of a kilogram (kg) of maize in Muyinga was 519 BIF and a kg of beans was 975 BIF, a decrease of 41 and 18 percent, respectively, from December 2015. With favorable Season B production, prices are expected to remain near five-year averages in most markets through at least October, improving household purchasing capacity relative to last year. Additionally, given that Tanzania has a national maize surplus of approximately 650,000 MT, favorable trade with Tanzania is expected to further support adequate food supply in Burundi. Although conflict and macroeconomic instability have decreased urban job opportunities, many poor households in rural areas depend on agricultural labor and the sale of crops for income, both of which are likely to remain near average throughout the outlook. While some poor households will be unable to meet their basic food and non-food needs and be Stressed (IPC Phase 2), especially during the September to December lean season, the majority of households is expected to maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.

    Despite price decreases, poor macroeconomic conditions continue to impact many households, especially in urban areas. In the Congo Nile Ridge livelihood zone and in Bujumbura, many poor households rely on informal labor opportunities as a primary source of income. Continued high levels of violence in Bujumbura in 2016 (Figure 2) have disrupted livelihoods and reduced both the number of job opportunities and the ability to commute or stay in the capital for work. As a result, it is expected that poor households have below-average income and, alongside depreciation of the BIF, will have reduced purchasing capacity. Additionally, the austerity measures put in place by the Burundi Government are expected to limit access to basic social services, causing many households to redirect some income towards health costs and other social services. It is expected that poor households will be unable to adequately meet both their food and non-food needs throughout the scenario period and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Some households, particularly those who have been displaced or lost livelihood assets due to conflict, may be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    According to CPC/IRI consensus forecasts, there is a 75 percent chance of a La Niña event occuring throughout the second rainy season. This will drive below-average rainfall over Burundi and the September to December rainy season is forecast to be average to below average. As a result, the December to January Season A harvest is likely to be at least slightly below average.  

    Figures

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    February to April 2016 rainfall, anomaly in millimeters (mm) as a standard deviation (DS/z-score) from 2000-2014 mean, CHIRPS

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Number of conflict-related incidents in 2016

    Source: ACLED

    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.

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