A below average harvest is likely in southern areas affected by drought and river flooding
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Food security in most pastoral livelihood zones has remained mostly stable since the end of the Gu rains in June. Agropastoral areas have shown both improvements and deterioration, depending on the area and if there were dry conditions. However, in most of the riverine livelihood zones, food security deteriorated due to floods which have destroyed crops and food stocks and reduced labor opportunities since the start of the October to December Deyr rains.
- Deyr rains started in October, but the spatial and temporal distribution was erratic and uneven. Total amounts have been lower than usual in some areas. The rains did not become firmly established until the middle of November in most of the southern, crop-producing areas. However, moderate to heavy Deyr rains were received in most of the country in November.
- Parts of the Hawd and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones in the central regions and both pastoral areas and Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Lower Juba received below average total rainfall from October to December.
- In the Northeast, Tropical Cyclone Three hit Eyl, Bandar-Beyla, and Garowe Districts in Bari and Nugal Regions with very heavy rains and strong winds between November 10 and 12. The storm caused the loss of human lives. Flooding and winds destroyed household assets including livestock and fishing boats. Associated flash floods damaged infrastructure, cutting off road access to coastal areas as well as communications infrastructure in these areas.
- Elsewhere in the Northeast, the rains associated with Tropical Cyclone Three replenished water catchments and supported pasture regeneration. This was especially true on the drought-affected Sool Plateau.
- In the Northwest, uncommonly widespread, heavy rains were received in most areas from October to December. The rains brought by the tropical cyclone boosted water and pasture availability.
- From October to December, the river catchments in both Ethiopia and Somalia received unusually high amounts of rain. This led to river flooding on arable land in the Juba and Shabelle Valleys. The flooding damaged standing crops in riverine livelihood zones in Middle Shabelle and Middle and Lower Juba Regions. Flood waters also reached several agropastoral villages outside of the riverine livelihood zones. In these villages in Middle Shabelle and in Afmadow District in Lower Juba Region, the residents were displaced, and standing crops were damaged.
- Livestock and rangeland conditions in the pastoral livelihood zones have improved since the start of the Deyr rains in October. Pasture availability in most areas is average. Livestock body conditions are reported to be near average to above average. Kidding, lambing, and cattle calving happened during the rainy season at a medium to high level. While camel calving in the northern regions has been at a medium level, in the South, it has been lower. Milk availability is mostly typical in pastoral areas, but in agropastoral and riverine areas, milk availability is seasonally low due to livestock migration to wet season grazing areas further away from these areas.
- Crop planting and performance: Due to late start of the Deyr rains and their erratic temporal and spatial distribution along with the presence of some remaining cereal stocks in some areas, planted area for cereals has been below average for the Deyr.
- In Lower Shabelle, Bay, Bakool, and Middle Juba Regions, which produce nearly 80 percent of total domestic cereals, many farmers favored cash crops this season over cereals. An unusually high area planted for sesame and other cash crops reduced the total area planted under cereals to below average.
- In Middle Shabelle, planting has only occurred in agropastoral areas. These areas typically contribute between 30 to 40 percent of Middle Shabelle’s cereal production during the Deyr in the region, so the majority of the arable land remains unplanted. Due to flooding, the vast majority of riverine areas remain flooded and uncultivated.
- In Northwest Agropastoral livelihood zone, the Karan harvest of long-cycle sorghum is being completed. Average crop production is likely.
- In the central regions, cowpea and sorghum crops have been planted. A near average cowpea crop is already being harvested. However, pest infestations have damaged some of the sorghum crop.
- In Hiraan, significant moisture stress from October to November 2013 retarded crop development resulting in what is increasingly likely to be a near crop failure in some of the northern, agropastoral areas. Agropastoral areas in Beletweyne District are having their second consecutive season with almost no expected crop production. Agropastoral areas in the other districts of Hiraan have had near normal planted area, and normal crop performance after the rains became established.
- Commodity prices:
- Local cereal prices in the cereal-producing areas of the South are increasing. In Bay Region, the Baidoa sorghum price increased 17 percent from October to November and was 30 percent more than last year. Similar trends are found in Lower Shabelle where maize prices have increased over the last six month. In Middle Shabelle, the Juba Valley, and Gedo Region, trends are similar.
- The most-consumed, imported commodity prices such as rice, sugar, and vegetable oil prices remain largely stable since the beginning of 2013 However, in Gedo Region, imported commodity prices have risen. For example, the regional average price of sugar increased by seven percent in the six months up to November. The difference in trends has been attributed to the loose trade restrictions and taxation imposed on imported commodities entering Gedo by Al Shabaab.
- Livestock prices:
- In most markets in the central and northern regions, livestock prices are typical and following the seasonal trend of decreasing following the end of the export sales peak in October. However, prices are still generally higher than last year.
- In the South, cattle prices are generally similar to last year. For example in November, a local quality cattle sale in Afmadow in Lower Juba Region would sell for two percent less than last year.
- Also in the South, local quality goat prices fell more and faster than usual. In Dinsor in Bay Region, a local quality goat in November was 23 percent less than last year. In Bardera in Gedo Region, while prices were not particularly low in November, the price never reached last year’s level during the export period. November goat prices were also 15 percent less than last year in Baidoa. Some of the lower prices may be due to an increased number of goats on the market, attributed, in part, to humanitarian restocking efforts.
- Terms of Trade (ToT): Generally, the local quality goat to cereals ToT is mostly typical and has seasonally decreased in most areas in the country in November compared to the previous month. Despite mostly typical ToT trends, in some regions such as Middle Shabelle and Hiraan, the ToT is sharply declining more quickly than usual. In Beletweyne in Hiraan Region, a local quality goat could buy 96 kilograms (kg) of white sorghum in November compared to 156 kg in November 2012. Similarly in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle, a local quality goat could fetch 147 kg of white maize in November 2013 compared to 252 kg in November 2012.
- Conflict in most part of the southern regions of the country is increasing. In Gedo, trade restrictions though loose are decreasing trade between the region and the port of Mogadishu. In the Jubas and Shabelles, many forms of conflict have increased compared to last year at this time. In Bay and Bakool Regions, armed confrontations between militants and government forces backed by troops from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) emerged in November. In Hiraan, conflict and trade restrictions have affected market access. In the Northeast, election-related tensions are increasing. All these factors are affecting poor households’ labor migration patterns and humanitarian access to these areas.
Food security outcomes have remained relatively stable in many parts of the country (Figure 1). However, notable exceptions can be found in:
- In Hiraan, poor households have no cereal stocks, and they are depending on purchases. Cereal prices in Hiraan have reached their highest point since August 2011. Reduced milk availability in reference markets has also sustained high prices of milk. With increased debt level and reduced lines of credit, poor households’ food access is deteriorating. Agropastoral households are likely unable to access sufficient food and are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
- In Coastal Deeh livelihood zone in the central regions, poor households own very few sheep, and access to humanitarian assistance is very limited. Households continue to be unable to access sufficient quanitities of food and are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
- In riverine areas in Middle Shabelle, the displacement and loss of food stocks and income from river flooding have placed displaced and poor households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
- In riverine areas in Middle Juba, flooding has led to a substantial delay in planting and the harvest, and these areas have moved into Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
- In agropastoral areas in Middle Juba, the lack of rainfall has led to very poor cropping conditions. Households are already relying on debt to make food purchases. The area has moved into Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
The January to June 2014 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:
- January to March Jilaal dry season will likely be typical in terms of the length of the dry period and the forecast temperatures.
- December 2013 to February 2014 Xays rains in the Northwest, which occur along the coast in Awdal Region, primarily in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, are likely to be near-normal to above normal in terms of total rainfall. The onset of the rains was normal in December. Xays rains will likely replenish water resources and improve pasture availability, near the coastal strip of the Northwest.
- Due to seasonally dry conditions during the Jilaal, water and pasture availability will likely decrease in most areas, especially in some parts of the Hawd and Addun Pastoral, Southern Agropastoral in Middle Juba, and Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zones as these areas had less October to December Deyr rainfall and started the season off with drier conditions.
- The April to June Gu rains are expected to start on time and be near normal in terms of total rainfall.
Agricultural labor demand and crop production:
- The Deyr cereal harvest in January/February is likely to be below average in terms of volume. This will reduce the amount of cereals available to both markets and households through June. In addition to several areas having poor production conditions due to dry conditions or river flooding, in areas with more normal performance, planted area for cereals was down while planted area for cash crops was up. The displacement of sorghum and maize with cash crops such as sesame is the primary driver of the likely below average harvest volume. Cereal prices will likely increase, particularly in the areas where production was the most below average.
- The Deyr cash crop harvest in January/February is likely to be above average in terms of volume in the southern regions. This is the result of above average area planted to cash crops and of the fairly normal seasonal performance in many areas. The increased production will likely result in increased cash income for middle and better-off households from cash crop sales. Harvest labor demand will likely be fairly typical in most areas of the sorghum belt with harvesting cash crops being as important as harvesting cereals as a source of income.
- From April to June, with average seasonal performance expected, area planted for Gu crops is expected to be near average. Land preparation and planting should occur at a seasonally normal time. Agricultural labor demand likely to be typical from March through June for land preparation, planting, and weeding.
- Livestock body conditions are likely to remain average during the dry January to March Jilaal season due to anticipated availability of dry pasture and browse. However, pasture, browse, and water availability will likely typically decrease along seasonal patterns, and this will result in typical livestock migration patterns to dry season grazing areas from January to March.
- Milk availability will typically, seasonally decline during the January to March Jilaal season as the number of milking females decreases. However, kidding, lambing, and cattle calving are expected in April/May, so milk availability will recover following births in April/May.
- Milk prices will follow the seasonal trend of increasing during the January to March Jilaal dry season and decreasing following livestock births in the middle of the April to June Gu rains. In riverine livelihood zones, along the normal seasonal pattern, during the middle of the Gu rains in May, milk prices will likely increase unlike the decrease seen in other areas of Somalia as most milking livestock will have migrated to wet season grazing areas at some distance from riverine homesteads.
- Livestock prices are likely to follow typical, seasonal trends. They will continue declining through the end of February due to low export and domestic demand, and then livestock prices will increase gradually from March through May due to the start of traders’ restocking for sales during Ramadan in late June/July.
Markets and trade:
- Despite the below average Deyr production in January/February, sorghum and maize prices will likely decrease through February as new supplies reach markets. Sorghum and maize prices will likely increase from March through June as market stocks are drawn down and demand increases as the agricultural lean season approaches. However, markets should remain supplied with local cereals. Many middle and better-off households are expected to invest the proceeds of cash crop sales in cereal purchases while prices are lower in January/February for sales to the market from March to June, after the prices increase, allowing traders to purchase cereals through June to meet market demand.
- Imported commodity prices will likely largely remain stable through April. Following the normal, seasonal trend, prices of imported commodities will likely start to rise slightly in May as shipping is curtailed from May to August during the monsoon winds off the coast.
- Insecurity will likely continue through June. Clan conflicts in the Shabelle and Juba Valleys will likely continue, and these conflicts are likely to continue to limit trade, labor migration, and normal movement of people, livestock, and goods in these areas.
- Conflict between Al Shabaab and government forces supported by troops from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) are unlikely to decrease between now and June with both sides retaining control of large areas. This conflict will likely continue to reduce trader movements and humanitarian access in some areas.
- All forms of conflict in southern and central Somalia may lead to additional displacement of populations between now and May.
- Access to humanitarian interventions will likely be reduced from current levels due to increased civil insecurity in areas of the South controlled by armed groups. In areas with ongoing humanitarian assistance, the ongoing assistance is likely to continue.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
From December to February, the Deyr harvest in much of the South will likely be below average. Despite being below average, in many agropastoral areas, the harvest will help maintain current levels of food access by providing food, allowing some households to restock, and providing opportunities for agricultural labor (Figures 2 and 3). With mostly typical TOT and staple food prices still lower than the five-year average in many areas, many households will have market access.
Among the exceptions to the general maintenance of current levels of food access will be in the central regions where in agropastoral areas, sorghum production will likely be below average due to pest infestations. However, with near average cowpea production likely and steady terms of trade, many households will be able to maintain minimally adequate food access and remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Food security situation in most of the pastoral areas in the country is likely to remain stable through June due to likely maintenance of near average livestock body conditions and expected kidding, lambing, and calving in April/May after the start of the Gu rains. Milk should remain available for both sale and consumption. In addition due to anticipated stability of the TOT and imported commodity prices, the purchasing power of poor pastoralists will likely remain steady. This will likely make most of the pastoral areas in the country remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
In the cyclone-affected coastal areas, asset losses have increased food insecurity. However, planned humanitarian responses are expected to maintain these areas at Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) though only due to the presence of humanitarian assistance.
In high agricultural productivity areas in Bay and Lower Shabelle, most poor households are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through June with mostly seasonally normal trends though with a high risk of disruptions from conflict. These regions contribute around 70 percent of national Deyr cereal production most years. In Lower Shabelle, nearly 3,000 hectares (ha) in Afgoye and Wanlaweyne Districts will likely have below average crop volumes harvested due to river flood waters from the Shabelle in Jowhar District in Middle Shabelle which inundated standing crops. In Bay, the maize crop harvest will likely be moderately below average as the crop has been affected by the erratic distribution of Deyr rains. However, sorghum production in Bay will likely be slightly below average. High levels of cash crop production including of cowpea and sesame are anticipated.
Food security outcomes in Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zone are likely to vary by district due to different levels of crop production. In Beletweyne District, the lack of harvest labor opportunities and very low amount of Deyr harvest in particular will likely be affected by below typical crop production. Agriculture labor opportunities for harvesting and threshing are likely to be largely unavailable due to low demand as farming activities have significantly reduced. Debt levels are likely to increase and credit lines like to shrink due to accumulated debts. Increased livestock sales to meet food and essential non-food needs and debt repayment from April to June will likely further reduce the livestock herd sizes. From December 2013 to February 2014, poor households’ income is likely to deteriorate though some consumption will continue to be supported by increasing debts. However, as household run out of their ability to take on additional debts or sell additional livestock to meet consumption needs, they will move into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) from April to June when food prices are at their annual peak.
Outside of Beletweyne District in Bulo Burti and Jalalaqsi Districts in Hiraan Region, agropastoral households will be similarly in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, in these areas, some Deyr harvest will be had which will keep these areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through June instead of further deteriorating.
Areas of concern
Riverine Livelihood Zones in Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle Regions
- October to December Deyr rains varied, but in the upper river catchments in Ethiopia, the rains were heavy. Over 10,000 hectares (ha) of farm land in riverine areas in Middle Juba Region and over 8,000 ha of farm land in Jowhar and Balad Districts have been affected. The floods displaced 1,100 households from the villages of Lebiga, Xansholey, Dhay, and Bulo Waso in Jowhar and Balad Districts.
- Agriculture labor and crop performance: The floods resulted in limited agricultural labor opportunities. This reduced household income. For households who can find labor, wage rates have unseasonably declined. They dropped 33 percent from October to November in Jilib in Middle Juba and were 38 percent below last year in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle.
- Commodity prices: White maize prices increased 31 percent from October to November in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle. The increased price is due to stocks lost to flooding and a decrease in trade connections to other white maize-producing areas due to damaged infrastructure, insecurity, and limited trade. In Jilib, the white maize price increased 29 percent. Imported food commodity prices are also increasing in Middle Shabelle though they are not increasing as uniformly in Middle Juba, probably due to trader access to imported goods from the port in Kismayo. With rising white maize prices and declining labor wages, labor to white maize terms of trade have declined.
- Debt level: Though no quantitative data is available, key field contacts reported that debt level of poor households in the riverine areas increased as households increasingly used new debt to fund food purchases.
- Milk supply is seasonally low as livestock have migrated out of the river basins to their wet season grazing areas. Market availability of milk is low, and prices have increased substantially since the start of the floods.
- Insecurity and conflict:
- In Middle Shabelle, conflict has caused displacement, asset losses, and led to a further reduction in agricultural production. Inter-clan conflict In Jowhar District in mid-November resulted in the loss of lives and assets and led to additional displacement of an estimated 5,000 riverine and agropastoral households. Many of those displaced by conflict or flooding have left their land uncultivated. A large number of road blocks have increased transport cost and thus transaction costs for trade.
- In Middle Juba, armed clashes between troops and armed groups, air surveillance, and air strikes have all disrupted normal trade and livestock and labor migration patterns. A large number of road blocks have increased transport cost and thus transaction costs for trade.
- Humanitarian Assistance: Access to food assistance and other safety net programs remains minimal in these regions.
- Food security outcomes:
- In Middle Juba, despite the poor labor conditions, even poor households typically have some small ruminants. Trade disruptions have been less severe than in Middle Shabelle. Also, planting for flood recession agriculture has begun. Riverine areas or Middle Juba are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
- In Middle Shabelle, with significant loss of assets and a higher level of displacement, households have few options other than debt to fund food purchases. The poor in this area typically do not have small ruminants. With few if any assets to sell and limited ability to cope, poor households likely face significant shortfalls in food consumption and are classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
In addition to national-level assumption discussed above, the most likely scenario in Riverine Livelihood Zones in Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle Regions through June 2014 is based on the following additional assumptions:
- In Middle Shabelle, flood waters will not completely recede until March. As such, flood recession cultivation will not be possible.
- The nearly 5,000 displaced households currently sheltered at the AMISOM compound in Jowhar have no access to their land for the current season.
- In Middle Juba, recession cultivation has already begun. A near average off-season harvest likely to begin in March.
- In Middle Juba, local cereal prices are likelyto continue to increase between now and January 2014, but they are likely to start to decline in late February as off-season Deyr green maize consumption begins from the flood recession cultivation.
- In Middle Shabelle, local cereal prices are likely to continue to sharply increase through late January 2014. When maize from Lower Shabelle reaches in the markets, the prices will decline somewhat but the decline will be muted by continued high transaction costs associated with the insecurity in the region.
- Fish consumption is likely to increase through February in Middle Juba as some fish are obtainable from the dhasheks (swamps).
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
In Middle Juba’s riverine livelihood zone, Southern Juba Riverine livelihood zone, food access will be relatively poor in January and February at Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as high prices and few labor opportunities will limit consumption. However, starting with some green maize consumption in February, then having the dry off-season Deyr harvest in March/April 2014, and a likely fairly normal beginning to the Gu rainy season providing additional labor opportunities from March to June along with decreased prices, food security will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) although some households will likely remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
In Shabelle Riverine livelihood zone in Middle Shabelle Region, the long-staying flood waters will likely lead to no recession cultivation and no anticipated off-season harvest between February and April. With no household stocks and few labor opportunities, along with high prices, poor household will continue to face an extreme food consumption gap and remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through June despite some additional labor opportutnities for Gu cultivation starting in April.
Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Middle Juba Region
- The July to September Xagaa season was warmer than normal. The October to December Deyr rains started late and were well below normal in agropastoral areas in Middle Juba. The moisture stress both reduced area planted and retarded crop development.
- Agricultural labor and crop performance: As a result of below normal Deyr rains in October and November, agricultural labor opportunities were not available, leading to very little income from agriculture labor. Area planted in agropastoral areas of Middle Juba is 10 to 30 percent lower than typical, and crops are several weeks later than is typical. Cereals are behind their normal developmental schedule and poor households currently depend on food purchases as they have no stock from past season’s crop production and green consumption has yet to start.
- Livestock body conditions have gradually improved during the October to December Deyr rains due to average pasture and water availability in neighbouring pastoral areas. However, livestock are currently concentrating in localized areas that received moderate rains where better pasture and water are available. Medium cattle calving and kidding were reported, hence improved households’ milk income and consumption is mostly seasonally normal. Despite the improved milk production, cattle milk price in Buale reference market in Middle Juba is decreased by 25 since October, probably as households prioritize cash income from milk to make up for lost income from agricultural labor.
- Prices: Local maize prices in Buale in Middle Juba increased from October to November by 21 percent, but the price was still lower than last year and the five-year average. Imported commodity prices such as rice, sugar and vegetable oil are largely stable and significantly below than their five-year averages. Cattle and goal prices are typical and following the seasonal trend of declining. In Buale, the local quality cattle price decreased by 8 percent from October to Novembe, but it remains largely similar to last year. Local quality goat prices have shown similar trends. Other markets including Jilib and Sakow are showing similar livestock price trends to Buale.
- Labor wage rates and Terms of Trade (ToT): Due to decreased labor demand and increased poor household members seeking employment during the season, daily labor wage rateshave declined atypically at a time of year when rates usually increase. In Jilib, for example, the daily labor wage rate declined 33 percent from October to November. With the labor rate, terms of trade and thus purchasing power declined. This time of year, the labor wage rates usually peak due to increased demand for labor for weeding.
- Debt level: Since both labor opportunities and wage rates reduced in Middle Juba region due to poor cropping activities as well as limited cereal stock availability at household level, poor households were continuing purchasing food and other essential non-food items on credit, avoiding sales of productive animals and waiting for livestock prices to increase, as will most likely happen starting in March.
- Insecurity/Political context: In Middle Juba, almost all of Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone is controlled by Al Shabaab. No major clashes have been reported, but light armed skirmishes and organized killings were reported. These have affected both trade and population movements. High, informal taxes on livestock, food, and non-food commodities are being paid by traders and residents. Increased informal taxation and transportation costs increase the costs of all traded commodities.
- Humanitarian Assistance: Al Shabaab continues to place onerous restrictions on humanitarian access, so ongoing assistance is minimal.
Poor households currently able to meet minimum food needs only with debt or asset sales. Poorer households may have reduced consumptions. Food security is classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
- Local cereal prices are likely to be atypical by sharply increasing between now and January, but they are likely to decline from March as the off-season Deyr harvest begins in nearby riverine areas. However, in this area, cereal price increases will be tempered by access to supplies of cereals from the main cereal producing areas in Bay and Lower Shabelle, following the harvest in February.
- Early depletion of water and pasture is likely due to poor seasonal performance followed by the dry Jilaal season from January to March.
- The Deyr harvest in January/February 2014 is likely to be significantly below average.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
With a well below average harvest in January/February and limited agricultural labor in the area, households will need to sell assets such as small ruminants to purchase food or to take on additional debt. Food consumption will likely continue to be inadequate through March. The area is classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from December to March. From April to June, due to the availability of the off-season harvest from nearby riverine areas on markets, the start of land preparation and other labor opportunities for the Gu, and improved prices for livestock salese, food securitywill likely improve. Poor households should be able to meet their basic food needs though they may still neglect essential non-food expenditures. Food security willl likely be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from April to June.
Events that might change the outlook
Table 1: Possible events over the next six months that could change the most-likely scenario.
Impact on food security outcomes
Southern Juba Riverine livelihood zone in
Pest outbreak during recession cultivation between December and February
Pest outbreaks could reduce the harvest and keep areas inCrisis (IPC phase 3) between March and June
Agropastoral areas in Middle Shabelle and Middle Juba
Improved security and stability
Increased humanitarian access, trade, and ability to use livestock and labor migration may improve these areas to Stressed (IPC Phase 2), following the start of stability
About Scenario Development
To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.
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