Food Security Outlook Update

Household food stocks sufficient to meet consumption needs

February 2013

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Poor households are relying on their own cereal stocks and/or their normal income sources, such as gold-washing, market gardening, or cash crop sales, to meet consumption needs without needing to resort to harmful coping strategies. Households throughout the country will face Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity from now through the end of June. 

  • Cereal prices have either been stable or have risen by less than eight percent since December. However compared to last year, prices have declined by up to 12 percent, improving household food access.

  • Procurements for the rebuilding of institutional and private food stocks are underway but, thus far, have not adversely affected market functioning, supply, prices, or the flow of cereals from surplus-producing areas to deficit-producing areas.

Current Situation

  • The current food security situation of very poor and poor households is marked by normal food intake with at least two meals a day, limited levels of market purchases, and diversified income sources. This is enabling households to better manage their food stocks and prepare for the upcoming lean season (July through September).
  • Markets are well supplied with staple foods and domestic cereal trade flows are normal. On average, demand is down from the same time last year by an estimated 50 percent, which is forcing traders to adjust their food stocks and prices accordingly. The reduction in their gross margins (by between 500 and 1,000 CFAF) compared with last year's levels is benefiting consumers.
  • The calls for institutional procurement released at the beginning of February were for 7,000 metric tons of cereal (maize and sorghum) for the government and 2,700 metric tons of cowpeas for the World Food Program. So far, these calls have not had any noticeable impact on market prices or inventories.
  • Cereal market prices have either been stable or have risen by less than eight percent compared to December. Compared with the same time last year, sorghum prices are down by approximately six percent and maize prices are down by 11 percent. Millet prices are similar to last year's levels. Current prices are above the five-year average by approximately 28 percent for millet, 21 percent for sorghum, and nine percent for maize.
  • Important income sources for very poor and poor households include market gardening and gold-washing activities. The increasingly large market supply of market gardening crops (mainly onions and tomatoes) has caused prices to decline by 50 to 70 percent since the first harvests between December and mid-January. Prices for tomatoes are comparable to prices at the same time last season, while onion prices are about two to three times higher. During a normal, dry season (December/January to May/June) such as this year, gold-washing activities at certain sites can bring in at least 100,000 to 150,000 CFAF per worker. These normal incomes will enable households to purchase cereals during the lean season.
  • Livestock prices on major markets have increased compared to last year (by anywhere from 10 to 47 percent for bulls and five to 46 percent for small ruminants) and the five-year average (by 15 to 72 percent for bulls and five to 94 percent for small ruminants). These price increases are due to good livestock body conditions and normal levels of demand (both in terms of purchases for rebuilding herds and exports to Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire). Livestock to cereal terms of trade are currently favorable to pastoral households.
  • Ongoing assistance programs by humanitarian organizations include food and nonfood aid to Malian refugees, malnutrition prevention programs, and resilience-building activities for households affected by last year’s food crisis. The Malian refugee population in Burkina Faso is growing (47,205 as of February 20, 2013, up 22 percent compared to December, 2012) although scheduled food aid distributions should suffice to meet their needs, at least through the end of March.

Updated Assumptions

The current situation has not affected the assumptions used to develop FEWS NET's most likely scenario for the period of January through June 2013. A full discussion of the scenario is available in the Food Security Outlook for January through June 2013.

Projected Outlook through June 2013

  • Local supplies of off-season crops will steadily increase between February and April. According to growers, sustained domestic and foreign demand should keep prices for these crops at their current, relatively good levels. There will continue to be good market supply of staple foods and normal trade flows from surplus-producing areas to structurally deficit provinces.
  • Assuming there are no new institutional procurement calls, current cereal procurements for the rebuilding of the national food security stocks are not large enough to disrupt markets and trigger unusual price increases. Income from gold-washing activities and the sale of livestock, market garden crops, and/or cash crops will strengthen food access for poor households. In addition, needs for emergency food assistance beyond ongoing annual assistance programming by humanitarian organizations are not expected. Normal livelihood strategies should enable poor households to stay at Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through the end of the June, with no negative impacts on livelihoods

About this Update

This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics