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Harvests improve food availability, but high prices continue to reduce household’s purchasing power

  • Key Message Update
  • Sudan
  • December 2022
Harvests improve food availability, but high prices continue to reduce household’s purchasing power

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The ongoing harvest is improving households’ access to food from production and in-kind labor payments while declining market prices are ameliorating household purchasing power at the markets. Nevertheless, many poor households continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in Darfur, Blue Nile, Kordofan, Kassala, and Red Sea states as food prices remain well above last year, along with the impact of inter-communal clashes disrupting access to income earning opportunities and food. Many of these areas will continue to face higher-than-normal humanitarian food assistance needs during the harvest season. In the Abyei area, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected to continue among IDPs and conflict-affected people due to continued conflict, displacement, and inaccessibility to markets and livelihood activities.

    • Across Sudan, the harvest of sesame and groundnut, the main cash crops, is complete in the rain-fed and irrigated sectors. Additionally, the cotton and sunflower harvest is almost complete in the irrigated sector of central and eastern Sudan, while the harvest of cereal crops is close to being completed in the traditional and semi-mechanized rain-fed sectors of Darfur, Kordofan, White Nile, and Gadaref. According to field information from the ongoing Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM), farmers are reporting that the high cost of harvesting inputs, labor, and transportation are the main constraints facing the harvest process, along with insecurity, pest infestations, and livestock damage, particularly in the semi-mechanized and traditional rain-fed sectors of Kordofan and Darfur, and White Nile states. Overall, the national harvest is expected to be near the five-year average. 

    • Planting for the winter wheat season was completed in November across the main wheat-producing areas of central and northern Sudan. The wheat harvest is expected in March/April 2023. Field information from the ongoing CFSAM indicates that the area planted is significantly below-average due to the shortages and high cost of agricultural inputs, limited access to agricultural finance, and high production costs in the absence of any commitment by the government to purchase the produced wheat from the farmers as usual. The area planted in Al Jazeera irrigated scheme, the main wheat production center in Sudan, is estimated at 87,185 feddan, representing less than 25 percent of the area planted last year and the five-year average. The well-below-normal wheat planting will result in above-average wheat importation requirements in 2023.  

    • Sorghum and millet prices continue to decline between November and December 2022, with the anticipated near-average main season harvests. As of the third week of December, sorghum and millet retail prices declined 5 to 10 percent compared to November. The locally produced wheat prices remained stable or slightly increased across most markets, driven by the significant reduction in area planted and anticipated below-average wheat production from the ongoing winter season. In general, cereal prices remain 150-200 percent higher than in December 2021 and over five to six times higher than the five-year average, driven by high production and transportation costs and the depreciation of the SDG. Prices will likely continue to decline through February 2022, the end of the harvest period, but will likely remain higher than average throughout the harvest season.

    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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