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Institutional demand puts heavy pressure on food prices

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burkina Faso
  • December 2017
Institutional demand puts heavy pressure on food prices

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Most poor households in the northern part of the country are living on home-grown crops from average harvests. In addition, there is reportedly a normal pick-up in dry season activities (out-migration, marketing gardening activities, with average water availability, gold mining, with a gram of gold selling for 25,000 CFAF, which is close to average, and the sale of forest products in general and, in particular, jujube fruits (Ziziphus mauritiana) at prices 33 percent above the average. Thus, with their livelihoods intact, most households are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity.

    • Though most households are not currently market dependent for their food supplies, staple food prices are reportedly above the five-year average by seven percent in the case of maize, 22 percent in the case of millet, and 12 percent in the case of sorghum. These above-average consumer prices are attributable to the combined effects of localized shortfalls in crop production and a rise in prices in crop-producing areas, where maize and sorghum prices are up by 14 percent and millet prices by 20 percent. In fact, most of the responses to calls for bids (for 42,500 metric tons of cereals) for the reconstitution of government food stocks are from these areas.

    • With the good physical condition of livestock, pastoralists are able to command prices close to the five-year average for animals put up for sale on livestock markets (small ruminants in particular). Prices for male goats are reportedly slightly above-average by anywhere from 4 to 15 percent, while prices for male sheep are slightly below-average (by 10 percent on the Djibo market and five percent on the Dori market). Prices on the Gorom-Gorom market are reportedly 16 percent above-average. Accordingly, terms of trade for male goats/millet are in favor of pastoralists, except on the Gorom-Gorom market, where they are 17 percent below-average.





    ·    Across-the-board rise in cereal prices due to localized deficits and a large institutional demand

    ·    An approximately 50 percent larger than average institutional demand

    ·    Continued above-average cereal prices, fueled by a growing demand

    ·    Lower than usual levels of market supplies due to the speculative practices of certain traders and large farmers

    Livelihood zone 8

    ·    Atypical rise in the price of millet, which is a staple food

    ·    Deterioration in terms of trade for male goats/millet

    ·    Terrorist threat in border areas, triggering population displacements and limiting humanitarian activities and normal market operations

    ·    Rise in prices to levels above the five-year average

    ·    Heightened market demand with the premature depletion of household food stocks, particularly in areas infested with grain-eating birds and pockets of drought

    ·    Steady deterioration in terms of trade

    ·    Continued terrorist threat


    Most poor households will continue to have normal food access from household crop production through March 2018. As usual, access to market garden crops and income from the sale of these crops should also help bolster their food access.

    With the average pasture and water availability in pastoral areas, as usual, herd movements by transhumant livestock will pick up between January and February. There will be a normal lean season for pastoral populations between April and June. As a matter of fact, the approximately 30 percent larger production capacity of certain processing plants for animal feed and the government’s allocation of stocks of animal feed to regional livestock agencies for sale at subsidized prices (30 to 50 percent below market prices) should strengthen food availability and food access for pastoral households.

    As of April, the depletion of their food stocks will make poor households market dependent in a high-price environment marked by price levels above the five-year average. Terms of trade for livestock/cereals in livelihood zone 8 are expected to continue to deteriorate in the face of the atypically high level of millet prices (a staple food) in source areas.

    In addition, the continued terrorist threats in this area are triggering population displacements to areas farther south (displacing 5000 people in November according to the National Emergency Assistance and Rehabilitation Committee (Comité national de secours d’urgence et de rehabilitation) and limiting relief efforts, mainly in areas along the country’s border with Mali. Moreover, most schools (many of which remain closed) do not have school meal programs, which serve as a source of food for children between the ages of six and fifteen. Bear in mind that, in an average year, food assistance accounts for at least seven percent of the total food supplies of poor households.

    In short, the limited food access of poor households will prompt them to resort to coping strategies detrimental to their diets (cutbacks in meal size and their number of meals) and livelihoods (larger sales of animals). This will expose them to an earlier than usual lean season and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity between April and May 2018.


    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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