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Stable food security, localized Stress in the southwest

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Chad
  • August 2013
Stable food security, localized Stress in the southwest

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through December 2013
  • Key Messages
    • With the green harvest, normal milk availability, and income from farm labor, most of the population is able to meet basic food consumption needs and are facing Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1). 

    • Food security in Logone Oriental, Tandjilé, Logone Occidental, and Mayo Kebbi Ouest is still Stressed (IPC Phase 2), where seasonal cereal prices are above the five-year average and household cereal stocks were depleted one to two months earlier than usual following floods in 2012.

    • The expected average October harvests will enable households to more easily meet their food needs between October and December. Normal supplies of milk and market garden produce diversify household food and income during this period. By October, acute food insecurity will be Minimal (IPC Phase 1) country-wide.

    Current Situation
    • Farming conditions: Rainfall through the end of June was marked by poor spatial and temporal distribution, which delayed crop planting. As a result, crop growth and development is lagging behind schedule by anywhere from two to three weeks, with cereal crops in the Sahelian zone still in the sprouting and tillering stages and most crops in the Sudanian zone in the height growth stage. The regular rainfall activity and good spatial-distribution of rainfall since the beginning of July has since encouraged more normal crop development. The size of the area planted in rainfed crops in both agro-ecological zones (the Sudanian and the Sahelian zones) as of July 31st is estimated at 3,951,406 hectares, which is seven percent less than the 4,244,030 hectares sown in crops for last year’s above average growing season. However, with the availability of larger numbers of tractors and farm inputs (seeds and fertilizer), this year’s cropped area is still 15 percent larger than average (3,438,436 hectares in 2008). Plant health across the country is stable.
    • Farm labor: Demand for labor is growing, fueled by ongoing weeding activities and a larger than usual cropped area, which has improved the wage income of farm workers. The daily wage rate In Ouaddaï, for example, is currently 4,000 CFAF, compared with the seasonal norm of 3,000 CFAF.
    • Pastoral conditionsRegular rainfall since early July is producing normal levels of new grass growth and gradually refilling seasonal lakes and ponds. As a result, animal grazing and watering conditions in all parts of the country are generally satisfactory and in line with the norm and, for the most part, animal health conditions are stable. In general, herd movements are consistent with normal practices, with an especially heavy flow of migrating animals in and around southern Batha, where minor flooding in areas along the Batha River in July has created a better than usual supply of water and pasture.
    • Cereal markets and prices: Cereal markets are marked by a growing demand for major locally grown cereal crops (sorghum, pearl millet, and maize) and a normal slowdown in shipments of market supplies during the lean season (June through September). Cereal purchasing for charity (Zakat) in connection with the celebration of Eid El-Fitr, marking the end of the month-long observance of Ramadan in August was another contributing factor to the large demand for cereal. Sorghum prices in Abéché are just under the five-year average (by two percent) with the good level of market supplies from last year’s good harvests in that area. However, sorghum prices in stressed southern areas, particularly in Kélo and Moundou, are up by 45 and 20 percent respectively, due to the poor market supplies in these areas compared with seasonal norms due to last year’s flash floods and their effects on local cereal harvests.
    • Refugees: A new wave of over 4,000 Central African refugees entered the country in July of this year. The new arrivals are scattered among several host villages in the Békourou and Kolda areas of southern Chad, where their living conditions are precarious. The most vulnerable (344 families or 1,196 individuals) were furnished with emergency food and nonfood assistance. The rest are mostly dependent on community assistance networks within their host villages. There was also an influx of Nigerian refugees into the country’s Lac area. Current supplies of early crops, wild vegetables, and fish products are better enabling host households to meet the needs of this refugee population.
    • Current food security: In general, food security is average. Cereal is in high demand (sorghum, pearl millet, and maize), which is normal at the height of the lean season (during the month of August). Localized harvests of early/green crops in the Sudanian zone and different forms of food assistance (general distributions of food assistance and food-for-work and blanket feeding programs), along with milk availability in the Sahelian zone, are bolstering daily food intake. However, food security in several parts of the Mayo-Kebbi Ouest, Logone Oriental, Tandjilé, and Logone Occidental areas is still problematic, where food consumption by most households is poor and minimally adequate. Households in these areas will continue to face Stressed food security conditions (IPC Phase 2) through the month of September due to the earlier than usual depletion of their food stocks and the unusual seasonal increase in cereal prices. Poor households in other parts of the country are currently experiencing Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1). 

    Updated Assumptions

    The current situation has not affected the assumptions used by FEWS NET in establishing the most likely food security scenario for the period from July through December 2013. A full discussion of this scenario can be found in the Food Security Outlook for July through December 2013

    Projected Outlook through December 2013

    The food security outlook for October through December is favorable. The expected average cereal harvests will enable households to more easily meet their food needs. Households will be much less dependent on market purchasing and their food intake will improve during this period. Earnings from sales of crops and market gardening activities in areas around seasonal and year-round water sources will also improve household income levels. The findings of the acute food insecurity assessment show Minimal levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) in all parts of the country between October and December (Figure 2).

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2


    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an 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 over the next six months. Learn more here.

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