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Expected average harvest will sufficiently cover local demand

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Tanzania
  • April 2016
Expected average harvest will sufficiently cover local demand

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Average to above-average Msimu rains in the unimodal areas will likely result in a near-normal harvest. Poor households remain market dependent and face income opportunity constraints following the conclusion of agricultural activities. This area is Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and will likely improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) with the beginning of the harvest season in May, but there will still be populations that have higher levels of food insecurity.

    • In the northwestern bimodal areas rainfall started late and has remained erratic due to the influence of El Niño. In the northeastern areas, Masika rains began on time and near-average rainfall levels are forecasted through May. Maize, rice and bean prices have decreased seasonally, and coupled with labor availability, will facilitate market purchases for poor households. Poor households in these areas will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until the June Masika green harvest.

    • According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 3,350 Burundian refugees arrived in April. For earlier arrivals, some reported planting seasonal crops, and the majority will remain in None (IPC Phase 1!) acute food insecurity due to the ongoing humanitarian assistance deliveries planned through June. However, the majority of new arrivals are facing worse conditions and are Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) as they have limited incomes for market purchases. 




    Central Rift Valley in Singida, Dodoma, Shinyanga, and Tabora Regions

    • The below-average 2014/15 Msimu harvest, and the Newcastle outbreak in September that caused livestock deaths, greatly reduced incomes. The seasonal drop in labor demand from February to March has also negatively impacted incomes, keeping poor households in these areas in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
    • Poor households relied heavily on non-agricultural labor instead of attending to their fields. This will lead to a reduced harvest, and stocks will be depleted earlier than usual. Some households will exhaust their stocks one to two months earlier than normal.


    Refugees and asylum-seeker receiving areas in Kigoma Region



    • According to UNHCR as of April 29, approximately 3,350 Burundian refugees arrived in Tanzania in April, putting the total refugee and asylum-seeker population in Kigoma region at 204,468. Political instability and violence continue to drive people out of Burundi, but the pace has slowed   since February. The majority rely primarily on WFP food distributions, but some households planted and will harvest in June.
    • Access to basic services such as health care, water, and shelter will be constrained given the likely continued arrivals of refugees. Incomes will remain low for those who arrived after December and were not able to plant some crops.
    • Seasonal crops planted in February and early March were affected by the dry spell in mid-March to early April. As a result, yields will be reduced and not likely to provide as much post-harvest relief.

    Northeastern bimodal areas

    • The combined effects of both the 2014/15 Vuli and Masika below-average bean and maize harvests was exacerbated by the below-average 2015/16 Vuli harvest. These effects are constraining household food access and many poor households remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
    • Households will continue to depend on markets to source food with limited cash from agricultural activities until the main harvest, which is forecasted to be average to slightly below average. Households are expected to improve to None (IPC Phase 1) in June with the green harvest.


    Markets and Stocks: New maize and bean harvests from the bimodal and bimodal to unimodal transition areas are currently available in markets and at the household level. Ripening rice from the bimodal areas will also flow to markets starting in May.  March prices continued to show a mixed trend, with some stabilizing prices in the bimodal areas and moderate increases in the southern surplus-producing areas. With expectations of harvests being near average in both the central and Southern Highlands main grain basket, supplies will be adequate. However, reduced production in Southern Africa may increase demand for maize from Tanzania and thus divert the Southern Highland areas’ maize through informal trade despite the price differential that normally favors maize flows from southern to northern countries except in extreme poor production years. As a result, there may be atypical high maize prices, constraining food access for poor households earlier than normal.

    Three consecutive seasons of below-average harvests in northern bimodal areas: The northeastern areas of Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Tanga have experienced three consecutive seasons of harvests falling below the five-year average levels. As a result, poor households have been reliant on markets to source their food. Low incomes, as a result of reduced cash incomes from crop sales, have been supplemented by income sources from casual labor, which will be available through the end of May due to the ongoing activities in the Masika season. Households that are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to consecutive below-average harvests will remain at this food security outcome until the Masika green harvest begins in June.

    Dodoma, Shinyanga, Tabora, and Singida Regions: Cereal crops in the Central Rift Valley are reaching maturity. Farmers have started eating green maize and groundnuts. By the end of May, harvesting will begin and market dependency will decline as most households will rely on their own food sources. Poor households have remained at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) since October 2015 since their income sources remain severely constrained by lower crop sales from the below-average season and reduced chicken sales. In addition, ongoing rainfall has limited firewood and charcoal-making, and there is low labor demand as farm operations are concluding. However, food security outcomes for the area are slowly improving to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) since the green harvest began in April and will continue to further stabilize after the full harvest begins in May.

    Asylum seekers and refugees in Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli Camps in Kigoma Region: The number of refugees from Burundi has continued, but the pace has eased from January when arrivals were over 6,000 for the month. There are few labor opportunities available, especially for those who arrived since January. Also many arrived too late to plant some crops that provide an important source of income and dietary diversity. However, Congolese and Burundians who were in Kigoma region in November and December, mostly those in Nyarugusu camp in Kasulu district, were able to plant crops if they had seed access and will have an alternative food source starting in June. As a result, the majority of households are at None (IPC Phase 1!). However, dry conditions that occurred between mid-to-end of March affected the second bean crop planted in February and early March. Newly-arrived households in both Nduta camp in Kibondo district and the newest camp, Mtendeli, in Kakonko district, face Stressed (IPC phase 2!) food security outcomes and are nearly completely reliant on humanitarian assistance that is funded through June 2016. Many households’ food security outcomes may worsen to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the absence of future humanitarian assistance. Water, shelter and health services will remain overstretched as the number of refugees keeps increasing.

    Following harvests, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is expected through the end of September 2016 in most other areas of the country. Food consumption and supply will remain normal with adequate household and market stocks, low food prices, and casual non-agricultural labor opportunities will be average until September. With the possibility of high maize prices, following an increase in demand from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, poor households will likely in the short-term turn to non-cereal crops, which will be available due to adequate rainfall across many parts of the country. Prices will remain favorable within the outlook period, but may increase after September as the maize needs grow in Southern Africa. 


    Figure 1


    Source: FEWS NET

    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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