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Even with the initial harvests underway, food prices continue to soar.

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • August 2021
Even with the initial harvests underway, food prices continue to soar.

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  • Key Messages
  • Summary
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH JANUARY 2022
  • Key Messages
    • The first harvests have begun, notably in the southern parts of the country, where fresh maize and peanuts have already appeared in the markets. However, basic food prices remain very high compared to the same period last year principally because of exceptionally high transport costs and difficulty in accessing markets due to insecurity.

    • Particularly abundant rainfall during this month caused flooding in several locations, notably in the Bimbo and Mpoko-Bac areas, as well as in the sixth district of Bangui. This flooding resulted in extensive property damage and population displacements.

    • Since 2020, the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 have continually narrowed the job market, including temporary employment. This continues to significantly impact living conditions, in particular for poor households in cities and in conflict areas, and notably for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host households. These populations are currently experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity outcomes.


    Summary
    AREACURRENT ANOMALIESPROJECTED ANOMALIES
    National

    Prices for nearly all agricultural products (maize, local rice, red sorghum, palm oil, and peanuts) are increasing compared to last year (see Figure 1) due to insecurity and road conditions, which limit market supply in the most difficult-to-reach areas such as Obo, Bria, Ndélé, Bossangoa, Zémio, Alindao, and the outskirts of Bambari. On average, these increases are 19 percent for maize, 30 percent for cassava, 46 percent for sorghum, and 8 percent for palm oil compared to the same period last year.

    Prices of imported food products such as rice (the imported variety), white beans, refined oil, wheat flour, and fish also increased by 26 percent on average compared to last year due to increased transport costs and supply route disruptions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

    The resumption of rebel group attacks is negatively impacting agricultural activities, local market supply, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Community conflicts, which cause numerous population displacements, also pose a threat to household food security.

    Household food security will improve in the coming months with the harvests approaching. However, these harvests may be seriously disrupted by armed groups in agricultural areas, notably in the northwestern prefectures (Ouham and Ouham-Péndé) and the southeastern prefectures (Basse-Kotto and Haut-Mbomou), as well as in Ouaka, in the center of the country. Populations in these areas will be very limited in their movements and will not be able to complete their harvests as normal.

    Agricultural production should remain similar to last year, but above the five-year average due to the good precipitation distribution in terms of timing and location. However, dysfunctional markets and localized reduced production in conflict areas could continue to keep food prices high.

     


    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH JANUARY 2022

    The precipitation distribution in terms of timing and location remains satisfactory, with above-average seasonal totals compared to the ten-year average across all prefectures in the country (see Figure 2). In the southern and western parts of the country, local markets are experiencing an increased local supply of fresh products (maize, peanuts, and vegetables) from the initial harvests.

    Localized production decreases will likely be observed in some areas due to the presence of rebel groups hindering access to fields for harvesting. However, the national agricultural production levels should remain above the five-year average due to good rainfall distribution.

    Harvests will take place throughout the country from October through January, resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity in the calmer central and western prefectures. In the northern prefectures, a lack of seeds caused farmers to sow less, resulting in below-average harvests. This will cause poor host households and returning households to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity. Insufficient harvests are expected in some areas of the northwestern and southeastern prefectures due to the presence of armed groups limiting access to fields for harvesting. In these areas, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and poor host households will depend more on markets and humanitarian assistance, and they will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Figures CAR prices Aug

    Figure 1

    Figure 1.

    Source: FEWS NET

    Rainfall estimate (RFE) anomalies in the 3rd dekad of July/2009-2018 average

    Figure 2

    Figure 2.

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    SEASONAL CALENDAR FOR A TYPICAL YEAR

    Figure 3

    SEASONAL CALENDAR FOR A TYPICAL YEAR

    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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