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Poor households are heavily dependent upon the market

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • April 2018
Poor households are heavily dependent upon the market

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The premature depletion of stocks, the increase in prices of staple foods and the drop in incomes are worsening poor households’ access to food and are exposing displaced persons and poor host households to an acute food insecurity at Crisis level (IPC Phase 3) until November.

    • Although the rainy season started on time in some areas, the increase in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the continued violence between armed groups and reprisals against civilians will hamper food producers’ access to their fields. As in previous seasons, this will have a negative impact on agricultural production.

    • It is difficult for the population to access humanitarian assistance because of security issues. Reprisals, extortion of traders by armed groups and significant household pressure on markets are causing volatility and increases in prices.





    • The upsurge in violence between armed groups, reprisals against the population and the destruction of fields by transhumant herders’ animals, generating approximately 722,000 IDPs.
    • Poor households’ dependency on the market and humanitarian aid for their food.
    • The premature start to the rainy season in the prefectures in the east, center and west could facilitate sowing for the first growing cycle for maize and groundnuts.
    • The reduction of cultivated areas and therefore agricultural production caused by difficulties accessing the fields.
    • Supply disruption in some markets caused by damage to road infrastructure with the rainy season taking hold, on the one hand, and pillaging often orchestrated by criminal gangs, on the other.
    • The timely availability (from July) of the first maize and groundnut harvests could help mitigate households’ food difficulties.

    Areas with a high concentration of displaced persons

    • Price volatility of staple foods in areas with a high concentration of displaced persons.
    • Limited humanitarian assistance in some areas because of attacks perpetrated by armed groups (four humanitarian aid workers were killed in February and in March, a humanitarian convoy was robbed).
    • A drop in income from the sale of harvested crops, game produce and firewood, due on the one hand, to competition between displaced persons and host households, and on the other, to households not being able to travel far for fear of reprisals by armed groups.
    • Prices will remain volatile until the next harvest in September owing to the increase in household demand and disrupted market supplies.
    • An increase in the agricultural labor force provided by poor households and further recourse to harvested crops and game produce for consumption and sale.
    • A drop in food consumption among displaced persons and host households due to the premature depletion of stocks and financial access issues.


    Since mid-March, the east, center and west of the country have recorded slightly higher than average rainfall, which is conducive to the first maize and peanut seeds being planted on time. In contrast, the south has recorded a decrease in the number of rainy days. Access to fields remains an issue both for displaced persons and host households. According to the findings of the last food security survey (ENSA, 2017), some of the country’s regions are recording a drop in the number of households engaged in farming this season, given the recent waves of displaced persons in the area, especially in areas with high concentrations of displaced persons.

    The premature depletion of food stocks has meant that poor households are relying heavily on markets for their food. However, criminal activity on the main road links, the imposition of illegal taxes (extortion) on traders and haulers, and the poor state of the roads are all causing disruption to market supplies and volatility in the price of staple foods. In Ouham-Pendé prefecture, for instance, the prices of cassava and maize have increased by 90 percent in the town of Paoua and 54 percent in the town of Bocaranga compared with the same period last year.

    In response to the high prices on the markets, poor households are stepping up their usual income-generating strategies, (working in agriculture or mining), selling game produce, harvested crops and firewood. However, populations are limiting their travel for fear of reprisals by armed groups and are therefore not managing to generate their usual level of income.

    The price increase and income drop are reducing access to food for displaced persons and poor host communities, particularly in the prefectures in the east and northwest of the country. Food assistance only reaches a small proportion of households (IPC Analysis Report, March 2018) and remains limited to accessible areas. As a result, poor households (displaced persons and hosts alike) are experiencing acute food security at Crisis level (IPC Phase 3) throughout the lean season, i.e. until September. The situation should not deteriorate over this period as the first maize, groundnut and leaf vegetable harvests should be available as of July and will bolster market food availability.

    Access to new harvests for households engaged in farming (around 67 percent) in accessible areas and the seasonal price drop will help mitigate the food difficulties that they experience. However, in areas with a high concentration of displaced persons (Mbomou, Haut-Mbomou, Nana-Grebizi, Ouham-Pendé and Ouham prefectures), at least 20 percent of displaced persons and host populations is struggling to access their fields, meaning that they may remain in a Crisis situation (Phase 3) until September.

    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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