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The arrival of the rains in March favors timely sowing in southern Cameroon

  • Key Message Update
  • Cameroon
  • March 2022
The arrival of the rains in March favors timely sowing in southern Cameroon

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The total number of cholera cases in the country has continued to rise after health authorities announced an epidemic in the Southwest region at the end of last year. Reports from the Ministry of Public Health indicate that it has spread to four other regions and that case numbers reached 1,888 by mid-March. The Southwest region is the most affected, with 73 percent of cases. The epidemic response is ongoing but limited by insecurity and poor road infrastructure conditions.

    • After the timely start of the March–July rainy season, sowing of maize, beans, potatoes, and cowpeas is underway in the unimodal and bimodal areas of the southern part of the country and will continue until April. Government and partner assistance with agricultural inputs (certified seeds and fertilizers) is ongoing throughout the country. However, deliveries remain insufficient to meet seasonal needs and arrive late, especially in insecure and inaccessible areas.

    • Sown areas have diminished in the conflict-affected Northwest and Southwest regions due to abandonment of farmland, reduced agricultural labor, and the high costs of fertilizer and improved seeds. Current prices for chemical fertilizers (urea and NPK) in most crop-growing areas are 30 to 55 percent higher than pre-conflict levels, following an additional 10 to 15 percent increase over the past two years due to pandemic-related supply disruptions.

    • Most poor households in conflict-affected areas are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). These households have used up previous years' harvests, and their heavy dependence on market purchases in a context of high staple food prices and the scarcity of plowing and planting labor is forcing them into debt. Recent data collected in the Northwest and Southwest regions suggest that more than 30 percent of households borrow money to purchase staple foods such as maize and rice, prioritizing these over school and medical expenses.

    • Poor households in conflict areas are also reducing the quantity and diversity of their meals, putting them at high risk of undernourishment which could exacerbate malnutrition during the current lean season. Basic household food supplies are expected to increase with new harvests beginning in July and will likely improve their food security to Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

    • The off-season harvest underway in the Extrême-Nord region is expected to boost grain availability and household incomes until April. While staple food prices remain above average, sorghum and onion prices have gradually declined, currently selling for 10 to 20 percent and 11 to 33 percent less than in January, respectively. However, low incomes due to reduced crop sales and reduced demand for harvesting jobs are still limiting the purchase of food and essential non-food items among poor households in the conflict-affected departments of Mayo Sava, Logone et Chari, and Mayo Tsanaga. Given their high dependence on markets and the high food prices, poor households are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) throughout the lean season until September.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level 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. Learn more here.

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