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Cropping season marked by reduced area planted

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • August 2015
Cropping season marked by reduced area planted

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2015
  • Key Messages
    • There could be another shortfall in domestic crop production due to a number of factors including, in particular, the security situation and its effects on access to livelihoods, as well as poor seasonal rainfall performance in some areas.

    • There are increasing reports of population displacements from western and northwestern areas to central and eastern areas of the county following the disruption to livestock movements along normal migration corridors. There are especially large concentrations of pastoralists in prefectures in the central-eastern reaches of the country, where they are competing with farmers for access to natural resources, which is triggering new conflict.

    • Internally displaced populations, returnees, and poor populations in areas not secured by the presence of armed troops are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity. Their poor food access and problems with the delivery of humanitarian assistance will keep them food insecure through December 2015.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • Displacement of numerous populations from conflict areas under attack by armed groups
    • Growing food consumption needs with the presence of IDPs in host households
    • Closure of the border with Chad
    • Below-average volume of cereals traded
    • Below-average levels of rainfall in July
    • Continuation of the conflict
    • Continuing population displacements
    • A growing season marked by reduced area planted, resulting in a shortfall in food production
    • A continued below-average volume of cereal trade

    Displaced populations, returnees, and host households in central, western, and southeastern areas of the country

    • Presence of new IDPs in host households and settlement sites
    • Market disruptions
    • Sharp contraction in income-generating activities
    • Disruption in herd movements along normal migration corridors
    • Perpetuation of current anomalies

    Projected Outlook through December 2015

    Indications for the ongoing growing season continue to raise concerns. The persistent security problems have prompted many farmers to abandon their fields, which has sharply reduced area planted. Recent indications for the ongoing rainy season are also not positive. According to the FAO’s July 2015 assessment, there has been below-average rainfall in northern and northwestern areas of the country. Rainfall accumulation for the period from May through July divide the country into two main zones, northern, northwestern, and southwestern prefectures, which have seen below-average rainfall, and a second zone with positive rainfall anomalies in central and southeastern prefectures. The rainfall deficit has affected the growing season by extending the planting period, which began in May-June with groundnut, maize, rice, and sesame crops and extended into July for bean, cowpea, and millet crops. The maize harvest began slowly in August, while it should have been underway since July in central and southern areas of the country. Harvests for millet and sorghum crops in northern prefectures, which should have started in August, are finally underway but weak. The analysis of the state of vegetation by the FAO in June/July 2015 showed below-average levels of vegetation in June in the southwest and east, with visible improvements in July, except in localized areas of the southeast.

    The size of the displaced population dropped from approximately 400,000 people in May 2015 to approximately 369,000 in July 2015, which is an eight percent reduction. The decreasing numbers of IDPs are a result of the relative improvement in security conditions. However, there are reports of new population displacements in central and eastern areas of the country, with a large presence of pastoralists in farming areas. In fact, security problems have diverted herd movements from normal migration corridors and there are currently much larger numbers of transhumant herds heading to central and eastern areas of the country than to their normal destinations in the west and northwest. Competition for access to pasture resources on croplands is creating tension and sparking disputes between these pastoral populations and local farming communities.

    According to a recent rapid assessment by ACF (Action Against Hunger) in August 2015 in the village of Daya in Dékoa subprefecture, the presence of transhumant pastoralists and their livestock and widespread fears of an attack among the local population are triggering population movements in Dékoa subprefecture in Kémo prefecture, which has become a place of refuge for displaced persons. The findings by this assessment revealed a severe erosion in livelihoods with the abandonment of fields planted and small-scale livestock-raising operations, which puts the outcome of the growing season in this area at risk. Displaced populations are supporting themselves through farm labor in receiving areas and, since they have no food reserves, are dependent on market purchase for more than 60 percent of their food supplies.

    The analysis of dietary diversity, food access, and livelihoods revealed differences in the food security situation of households of returnees from different areas. Assessments conducted in August 2015 in villages in certain southern prefectures (Basse-Kotto and Nana-Mambéré) showed acceptable but unstable levels of food consumption, with the equivalent of one (1) week or less worth of food reserves from existing food stocks. There was little dietary diversity, with over 60 percent of returnees eating only one meal a day. These returnees were dependent on market purchase for more than 70 percent of their food needs, while certain markets were beginning to charge extremely high prices, fueled by a growing demand driven by the influx of IDPs. From 2,000 XAF before the security crisis, the price of a jar of groundnuts, for example, is currently at 3,000 XAF according to the findings by these assessments. The same applies to the price of a liter of oil, which is currently at 1,750 XAF, compared with 1,200 XAF before the crisis. Food purchasing power rests on income from wage labor and, in particular, on proceeds from the sale of fish and fish products.

    IDPs, returnees, and poor populations in areas not secured by the presence of armed troops have low purchasing power due to the ongoing security problems obstructing household access to livelihoods. The worst-off areas, particularly in prefectures in the central, southeastern, and northwestern parts of the country, will continue to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity through December.

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1

    Source:

    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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