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Average to above-average agricultural production anticipated

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burkina Faso
  • September 2018
Average to above-average agricultural production anticipated

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface

  • Preface



    FEWS NET Remote Monitoring Updates in September 2018 have an extended outlook beyond the standard projection period. The end of this report includes a discussion of most-likely outcomes through the end of the next lean season for this. Reporting for this country may follow a non-standard schedule in the coming months. Check back regularly for new analysis, subscribe for report updates, or follow us on social media.

    Key Messages
    • Thanks to continued assistance and the harvest of green crops, household food consumption is becoming more stable.  However, livelihood assets are still under pressure and are exposing households to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity.

    • With projections for average to above-average harvests, the majority of households will be able to live normally off their stocks until the next lean season. Their dependence on the market remains at the usual level, despite minimal to moderate above-average anticipated prices.

    • In areas of concern in Eastern regions (Livelihood Zone 9) and in the Sahel (Livelihood Zones 7 and 8), where the deteriorating security situation disrupts markets and trade, poor households will have sufficient access to their stocks and be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between October 2018 and January 2019.





    • Depleted institutional and commercial stock levels due to high usage in recent months;
    • Staple cereal prices above the five-year average: 12 percent higher for maize, 22 percent for millet and 21 percent for sorghum;
    • Apart from the east of the country, cumulative rainfall is higher than the ten-year average with good spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall between mid-July and mid-September.
    • The current security situation is deteriorating due to an increase in terrorist attacks along the borders.
    • Average to above-average agricultural production is anticipated, despite production losses due to flooding and attacks by caterpillars and grain-eating birds.
    • Despite an average anticipated level of market supply, millet and sorghum prices could remain above the five-year average due to institutional demand and regular trade flows to coastal countries.
    • Continued terrorist attacks may have a negative effect on socio-economic activities.

    Livelihood Zones 7, 8 and 9

    • Food assistance will be increased and continue throughout October, but will cover fewer households in border zones due to insecurity;
    • Slow functioning of livestock markets in border areas due to insecurity;
    • More than 27,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), mainly in the Soum province, due to threats of jihadist attacks
    • Continued terrorist threats that could increase the number of IDPs.
    • Crop exposure to predators, such as grain-eating birds and locusts is recurrent in livelihood zones 8 and 7 and occurs primarily between September and October.
    • Staple cereal prices continue above the five-year average due to high availability in supply areas and market disruption caused by insecurity.


    Estimated outlook through January 2019: Since mid-July, the current rainy season has had good spatial and temporal distribution of rains. The cumulative rainfall between April 1 and September 20 is higher than the ten-year average, except in the east of the country where slight declines are recorded. The phytosanitary situation has faced fall armyworm attacks on maize, millet and sorghum. Areas infested since the beginning of the season are estimated to cover more than 100,852 hectares. However, following the intervention of qualified technical services, this situation is considered to be under control. The main water points are sufficiently refilled which will facilitate growth of dry season crops and improve the livestock drinking water supply. However, areas were affected to varying degrees by the flooding that occurred during this rainy season. Seven areas, including six in the Boucle du Mouhoun region alone, were particularly affected and are likely to experience significant production losses.

    Due to the good rainy season, stabilized phytosanitary situation and the anticipated extension to the normal agricultural season, average to above-average production is anticipated. Fresh agricultural products, such as maize, peanuts and early millet, which are appearing on the markets alongside yams and cassava products from coastal countries such as Ghana, contribute to mitigating the lean season and increasing food diversity in households.

    Access to these new harvests and continued food assistance operations in the areas concerned allow households to continue to have an average of two meals a day. In livelihood zones 8, 7 and 5 (Sahel, Center-North and East regions), food distribution and cash transfer operations run by the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the Government, reach 37 percent, 26 percent and 24 percent of the population respectively and cover at least 90 percent of their food needs. These operations are scheduled to continue in October.

    With projections for an average to above-average harvest, the cereal supply which is currently considered low to average will gradually improve as new harvests enter the markets between October and March. The national institutional stock replenishment needs estimated for the end of December are 25,000 tonnes of cereals, which is close to the average.

    By the end of the lean season, staple cereal prices will have remained stable since July. They are above the five-year average by: 16 percent for maize, 22 percent for millet and 21 percent for sorghum. Under average market supply conditions and typical household and institutional demand, prices of these commodities are expected to follow the normal seasonal trend. Prices are around average for maize and slightly to moderately above-average levels for millet and sorghum, which are generally exported to coastal countries.  The markets in the border zones of livelihood zones 7, 8 and 9 may continue to experience disruptions due to continued terrorist attack threats.

    The average forage availability and the good water supply at water points will allow herds to survive the typical lean season between April and June. However, the terrorist occupation of the relocation areas (in the north) and transhumance corridors (in the east) normally used by livestock farmers could disrupt transhumance movements and force livestock farmers to congregate in more accessible pastoral areas.

    In summary, despite an ongoing stabilization of household consumption through assistance operations and green harvests, the livelihoods of poor households, particularly in livelihood zones 8, 7 and 5 are still under pressure after a long lean season. These households remain vulnerable to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity levels.

    Projected outlook to the end of the next lean season (September 2019): From October onwards, the majority of households in the country will have access to new harvests and should be able to live normally off their stocks until the next harvest. This harvest is in April for livelihood zones 8 and 7 and in June for the rest of the country. During this period, they will also be able to generate regular income through growing market gardens and gold panning.

    However, the resurgence of foot-and-mouth disease since May 2018 and its persistence in several regions could pose a threat in the coming months. In some regions, the resurgence of the disease has a negative impact on the market demand for cattle. In the Hauts-Basins region, for example, collection of milk for sale has dropped by approximately 27 percent compared to the average over the last two years.

    Between April and September 2019, in the majority of households’ market demand will remain typical. The slight to moderate increase in staple food prices will not lead to a significant decline in access to food. However, in livelihood zones 8, 7 and 9, the deterioration of the security situation will increase the number of IDPs and reduce income from gold panning. Market disruption, especially in border zones, will negatively affect livestock sale revenues and help keep cereal prices above average.  The deterioration in the terms of trade for livestock and cereals and the decline of income sources due to insecurity will expose poor households to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity.

    Figures Estimated millet price (XOF/Kg) in Djibo for 2018/2019.  Prices are following normal seasonal trends but are higher than aver

    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Estimated millet price (XOF/Kg) in Djibo for 2018/2019

    Source: FEWS NET

    Burkina Faso Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year  Mid-May to mid-October is the rainy season. September to January is the ma

    Figure 2


    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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