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Normal food access for most households

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Burkina Faso
  • April 2016
Normal food access for most households

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • There is relative price stability for basic food products as compared to the five-year average as well as normal incomes from the sales of livestock and market garden crops as well as panning for gold. These factors are allowing poor households to remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity. 

    • In the month of April, the start of the usual lean season in pastoral areas, animals are in satisfactory condition due to the availability of stored feed, greater than average market supplies of industrial crop residue, and price levels similar to the five-year average. However, in the agro-pastoral north, there is difficulty watering animals due to the early depletion of some water sources.

    • Assuming a normal arrival and progression of the rainy season, there is also an expectation of adequate market stocks of cereals and a good availability of pasture and water.  All these factors will help keep prices for cereals and animals around the seasonal average until September. Income from labor should be similar to a normal year


    Markets throughout the country are functioning normally with adequate supply and demand for livestock and cereals, similar to the average for the last five years. Agricultural production, particularly cereal production by households, was average to slightly below average, down by 6.75 percent compared to the five-year average, according to the updated statistical data published by the government in March. Likewise, livestock feeding and watering conditions are adequate, with average availability of pasture and water, except for the early depletion of the seasonal lakes and ponds in the municipalities of Déou and Oursi in the province of Oudalan.

    With the good market supply of cereals and typical household demand compared with last year, prices for basic cereals are stable with respect to the five-year average.

    Current household income is derived mainly from the sale of livestock, the sale of market garden crops, gold panning activities, and farm labor in land preparation work. This income is stable overall. Indeed, on the main livestock markets, prices for animals (rams, goats, and bulls) are stable or up between 16 and 40 percent in comparison to the five-year average. The one exception is for slaughter animals which saw a price drop of around 30 percent because of the depreciation of the Nigerian currency (Naira) with respect to the CFA franc as well as the insecurity in the Lake Chad region which has reduced regional demand. Thus, terms of trade for livestock/cereals favor pastoralists, with the sale of a Sahelian goat giving pastoralists 140 to 250 kg of millet as opposed to 150 kg in the normal situation. At gold panning sites, a gram of gold costs 25,000 CFA francs on average, which is a price level similar to the average for the 2011-2015 period. The market gardening activities, which are currently winding up, are a good source of income and prices for vegetable produce are similar to the seasonal average (at least 800 CFA francs per kg of tomatoes and 100 CFA francs for a kg of onions).

    Within the framework of its social program for consumer assistance, the government has just opened 80 food outlets in the East, the Center, the North-Central, the Sahel, the North, and the West-Central regions for the sale of cereals at a subsidized price of 120 CFA francs per kg. In the coming months, this measure will be extended to other regions, with the goal of opening 140 such outlets.

    At the beginning of April the province of Noumbiel in the southwestern part of the country welcomes 2167 agropastoralists displaced by the ethnic fighting in the northeastern part of Côte d’Ivoire. The government and its partners are gearing up to assure support for them. Still, the conditions for their rehabilitation or permanent settlement have not yet been determined. These displacements are coinciding with a situation in which certain partners are allegedly having difficulty securing adequate funding for assisting the 32,000 Malian refugees in the northern part of the country since 2012.



    The present situation has not affected the assumptions used by FEWS NET in developing the most likely scenario for the period from February to September 2016. A full discussion of the scenario can be found in the Food Security Outlook for February through September 2016.


    With regular, adequate supplies on cereal markets and the generally normal functioning of livestock markets, price levels (for cereals and livestock) could stay in line with normal seasonal trends and at levels similar to the five-year average. The government program selling cereals at subsidized prices could help stabilize cereal prices on local markets. Furthermore, the increased demand for live animals during the coming month of Ramadan (in June-July) and for Tabaski (in August-September) could help improve the price of livestock.

    Assuming a normal start and normal progress of the rainy season, households should generate income normally from farm labor and livestock-raising activities and have access to wild plant foods, which will allow them to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity until September. 

    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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