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Average to good harvests, with slight delays

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • December 2012
Average to good harvests, with slight delays

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through March 2013
  • Key Messages
    • In line with seasonal trends, acute food insecurity is at its lowest level of the year.

    • Though delayed by a few weeks in certain surplus-production areas, in general, July-December harvests are expected to be average to good.

    • In Vakaga, the Ouandja River broke its banks in August, causing damage to rainfed crops along the river. More information is needed to understand the food security impacts. 

    • The seasonal upsurge in civil insecurity poses both a current and a potential future threat to livelihoods (IPC 2.0 Phase 2), particularly in the southeast due to the presence of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

    AREA

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Vakaga

     

    • The Ouandja River overflowed its banks in August and the floodwaters did not begin to recede until the end of November, later than usual. The above-normal levels of flooding caused more damage than usual to fields planted in rainfed crops.
    • There could be a delay in the planting of off-season crops, though good water availability would likely extend the growing season.

    Upper Ubangi

     

    • The new upsurge in civil insecurity due to the presence of elements of the LRA could be slightly more severe than usual.
    • Attacks by elements of the LRA will peak sometime between February and June, in line with normal seasonal trends.

    Projected Outlook through March 2013

    Pending release of the 2012/13 national harvest assessment in December, satellite imagery and qualitative ground data suggest that the 2012 rainy season got off to a late start in the south, mainly between March and April/May, particularly in the Bangui area and along the country’s southeastern border. However, in general, rainfall levels for the peak rainy period (May through September) were above-average. This pattern of rainfall produced generally average to good harvests but delayed harvests in certain high-production areas. Ensuing flooding problems curtailed market access longer than usual. These trends could explain anecdotal reports of tighter than usual supplies on certain rural markets in November.

    In general, the civil security situation in the Central African Republic has improved over the past year. The People’s Army for the Restoration of Democracy (APRD), the largest rebel group in the country, was dissolved in May of this year. In addition, the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) and the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) signed a cease-fire to give local populations access to humanitarian aid, particularly in the northeast. The most severe civil security threats are currently in the southeast, in areas infiltrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). A report by Invisible Children and Resolve suggests a shift in the focus of LRA attacks from abductions of children and youths for forced conscription into the army to temporary abductions of adults to carry loads of looted goods. More information is needed to determine whether recent trends in the last two months are indicative of a major change in the security situation in this area and, if so, whether it will have any meaningful impact on sources of food and income for a statistically significant group (>20 percent) of households in this area for the 2012/13 consumption year.

    In some cases, such incidents will temporarily disrupt markets. The magnitude of their medium-term effects is unclear. Since civil insecurity levels appear to peak between February and June, attacks are expected to increase during that period. Security threats may affect the planting of crops in certain local areas.

    Medium-range forecasts with respect to the start of the rainy season in March-April-May show no major anomalies (ECMWF, IRI). Thus, FEWS NET is assuming the 2013 rainy season will get off to an average start somewhere within this range.

    Vakaga

    Ground reports show considerable flood damage to rainfed crops along the banks of the Ouandja River in August. According to these reports, distributions of food and non-food aid were made to flood-stricken households by the World Food Program (PAM) and the ICRC to meet their immediate needs. More information is needed on the volume of crop production along the banks of the Ouandja River compared with regional output in general and on the area’s past and current capacity to take advantage of the water surplus for market gardening activities and the growing of flood-recession crops to better understand the flood’s future food security impacts. The use of floodwaters to grow flood-recession or market garden crops is a common practice on the other side of the border, in Chad.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    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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