Skip to main content

Poor pasture conditions prompted distress sales of livestock in eastern Sudan

  • Key Message Update
  • Sudan
  • November 2015
Poor pasture conditions prompted distress sales of livestock in eastern Sudan

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The 2015/16 harvest is ongoing, and all indications are that it will be below average in some areas, largely due to below-average rainfall during El Niño. However, despite the below-average harvest, acute food insecurity is likely to be fairly stable in the near future. The stability is driven by the above-average marketable stocks from last year’s above-average harvest that have maintained stable staple food prices by keeping supply in markets available. The September to November national IPC acute analysis process estimated that nearly four million people would be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance through the end of November.

    • As a result of the below-average harvest, the lean season will likely start two months earlier than normal in March instead of May. The number of acute food insecure people likely to start to increase in March. Drought due to the El Niño, conflict, and lack of access to humanitarian assistance will place more people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) this year during the lean season. Some households, mostly the displaced who cannot be reached by humanitarian assistance agencies, may move into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) at the beginning of the lean season in March, having grown very little food and having poor market access due to conflict and insecurity.

    • Low June to September rainfall, as a result of El Niño, led to poor pasture conditions in Kassala, North Darfur, North Kordofan, parts of Gadaref, and parts of East Darfur and West Kordofan States. In Kassala State, distress sales of livestock have increased the supply of livestock to markets, leading to prices falling since August. Consequently, livestock-to-sorghum terms of trade (TOT) have declined. In Kassala town, goat-to-sorghum TOT declined from 203 kilograms (kg) of sorghum per goat in July to 148 kg in September and to 109 kg in October. Similar patterns have occurred for other species, including sheep, cattle, and camels. This is likely to reduce the purchasing power of pastoralist, agropastoralists, and smallholders who typically sell livestock every year. 

    • From September to October, staple food prices either remained stable or slightly increased as the drawing down of above-average carryover stocks held by traders and commercial farmers from last year’s above-average harvest kept markets well supplied. However, some surplus-producing areas in eastern and central Sudan saw price increases between six and 12 percent, as traders adjusted expectations for the below-average harvest this year. Affected areas included Gadaref, Kosti, Senar, and Madani. October sorghum and millet prices were, on average, around 25 percent lower than last October and 45 percent above their five-year averages. While demand for cereals for consumption is likely to be higher than usual, as households with below-average harvests may need to buy more food over the course of the coming year, prices are not likely to increase abruptly between now and March with markets still supplied by stocks from last year and the incoming harvest.    

    • Continued conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and armed opposition groups in parts of Darfur has already displaced around 165,000 people in 2015. Nearly half of the new displacements occurred in North Darfur State in the localities of Mellit, Sayah, Kuma, Northern Jebel Marra, and Tawila. Slightly over a third of the displaced have returned to their original villages, mainly in Mellit and Sayah Localities in North Darfur State and Abu Karinka Locality in East Darfur State. Humanitarian agencies have thus far managed to provide assistance to nearly 60 percent of the new IDPs in Darfur. 

    • In Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North  (SPLM-N-) controlled areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan States, food security is deteriorating. The harvest is likely to be very low in some particularly dry spots, likely, in part, driven by El Niño during the rainy season. Without access to humanitarian assistance or opportunities to trade, these populations are likely to be much more acutely food insecure later in the year. Wadaka and Chali Counties in Blue Nile State and Dellami, parts of Heiban Umm Dorien, and Thobo Counties in South Kordofan State are the most food insecure areas in these states.  


      For more detailed analysis, see the Sudan Food Security Outlook for October 2015 to March 2016.


    Figure 9


    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.

    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