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Land preparation has begun following the onset of season ‘A’ rains

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Rwanda
  • September 2013
Land preparation has begun following the onset of season ‘A’ rains

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through December 2013
  • Partner
    NUR
    Key Messages
    • Food prices are higher than last year due to poor performance of the season ‘B’ harvest. The season ‘C’ harvest (October-November) is not expected to have a significant impact on the high prices. 

    • Political tensions between Tanzania and Rwanda since late May have caused an unexpected inflow of more than 7,000 Rwandan returnees, many of whom lack shelter and livelihoods. These households face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity and are in need of food assistance. 

    • Most households currently have Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, though Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels are expected in the eastern agro-pastoral zone and eastern Congo Nile highland subsistence farming zone during the peak of the lean season in October to December.


    Current Situation
    • Food sources: Due to below-average season ‘B’ harvests in June and July, household food stocks were depleted in August, one month earlier than in a normal year.  The areas most affected are the eastern semi-arid agro pastoral zone and the eastern Congo Nile highland subsistence farming zone. Poor households across the country are currently accessing food through market purchases combined with reliance on perennial crops like banana and cassava. Some households have started to harvest season ‘C’ legumes and vegetables in the marshland, though that season only contributes about 10 percent of national annual production.
    • Returnees:  There are now an estimated 7,000 Rwandan returnees from Tanzania who are in need of food assistance. WFP Rwanda agreed to provide food assistance to 5,000 people beginning this September. There are currently shortages of food and shelter at the temporary camp located in Kiyanzi sector (Kirehe District), where about 2,585 returnees are located.  The re-integration process is continuing for the returnee population. 
    • Rainfall: The forecast for September to December rains is for generally average rainfall. The Eastern province and a small part of Gicumbi in the Northern Province expect normal to below-normal rains, while the rest of the country, especially northern, southern and western provinces and Kigali city, expects normal to above-normal rainfall (Figure 3).
    • Agricultural activities: Land preparation activities for season ‘A’ (September to December) are underway across the country. The rainfall received in early September encouraged cultivation but was poor in terms of intensity in Kigali city.  Season ‘C’ crops are developing normally and an average harvest is expected in October-November.
    • Labor income: Current income-generating activities include land preparation, tea plantation work, construction, and terracing activities under programs such as the Land Husbandry, Water Harvesting and Hillside Irrigation Project (LWH), the Gishwati Water and Land Management Project (GWLM), the Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP) and Vision Umurenge programs. In most areas of the country, labor wages are normal, varying between 700 to 1000 RWF per day, depending on livelihood zone. Wages are expected to follow seasonal trends during the rest of the outlook period with a peak in labor demand and wages in mid-September to October for season ‘A’ 2014 planting. However in the eastern livelihood zones, wages are expected be slightly below average, as a greater number of people are seeking work due to the recent influx of returnees.
    • Staple food prices:  Prices for Irish potato, bean, and cassava are generally above last year’s prices at the same time. However prices are expected to increase atypically during the rest of the outlook period due to below-average season ‘B’ crop production.  Some markets are already indicating depleted stocks.

    Updated Assumptions

    The current situation has not affected the assumptions used to develop FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for the period of July to December 2013. A full discussion of the scenario is available in the July to December 2013 Food Security Outlook


    Projected Outlook through December 2013

    Given the recent season ‘B’ harvest, most households will be able to meet their consumption needs through their own crop production through mid-September. Beginning in October, these households will access food normally through market purchases, using cash income generated from various income sources, such as wage labor. Consequently, over 80 percent of households in most areas across the country will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity during the remainder of the Outlook period (September to December).

    However in two areas of concern (the Eastern semi arid agro pastoral livelihood zone and the Eastern Congo Nile highland subsistence farming livelihood zone), below-average season ‘B’ harvests will cause households to have difficulties accessing food during the peak of the lean season (October to early December). In these areas, households will engage in a variety of atypical coping strategies, such as temporary migration to other zones and/or the sale of additional small animals, to meet basic food needs. Poor households in these livelihood zones will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the second half of the outlook period.  

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Source:

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an 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 over the next six months. Learn more here.

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