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Good rains in July and August improve food security in the southern regions

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Chad
  • August 2019
Good rains in July and August improve food security in the southern regions

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Early and widespread rains recorded through mid-August are in surplus. Despite the long dry periods of June, these rains have allowed crops to grow normally. They are generally at the heading stage in the Sudanian area, and the tillering stage in the Sahelian area. This favorable rainfall has also improved the amount of pastureland and filled ouadis (temporary streams), thereby improving water availability.

    • Tibesti remains in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to disruption to food products trade flows. The Lake Chad area remains Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) thanks to humanitarian assistance and is expected to continue as such until at least January 2020. The rest of the country will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity. 

    • In the Sudanian area, the food conditions of poor households in Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul and Moyen Chari are improving thanks to early harvests of maize, short-cycle groundnuts and cassava that have improved food consumption. Wintering vegetables and wild and market gardening produce are already available on the market.

    • The markets are well supplied, with the exception of Tibesti, thanks to traders’ good levels of stock, National Food Security Agency (ONASA) destocking and the early harvests in the southern markets. Demand is average and availability is increasing thanks to harvests. This has led to a drop in cereal prices in most markets.



    Agricultural situation: The agropastoral growing season has started earlier than in a normal year. Rainfall is average to above average. It is poorly distributed both temporally and spatially, with dry periods of varying lengths that have affected crops. Some localities show seasonal deficits as at July 30 2019 compared to the seasonal average for 1981–2010, including Massaguet (91.4 mm), Bokoro (39.1 mm) and Massakory (22.9 mm). However, the regularity and amount of rainfall recorded in July and August suggest a return to normal rainfall for the rest of the growing season. These rains have resulted in widespread early sowing in most agricultural areas and good crop growth in the second dekad of August. They have also improved pastoral conditions by restoring grass cover and filling semi-permanent marshes and rivers earlier than usual. 

    Agricultural labor:  In the Sudanian area, the revival of cotton activities is generating high demand for labor in Moyen Chari, Mandoul, Mayo Kebbi and Tandjilé. Thus, the daily wage is 30 to 50 per cent higher than average. For example, a working day pays XOF 750–1,000 compared with XOF 300–500 in Mayo Kebbi in a normal year. In the Sahel, labor demand is normal.

    Pastoral situation: The early onset of rains has encouraged grass to grow back in almost all pastoral and agropastoral areas. In the western part of the Sahel, vegetative cover has been slow to appear due to prolonged dry periods. The most affected communities are: Kanem, Bahr-el-Gazel (BEG) and northwest Lac. Animal health is stable.

    Cereal markets and prices: Basic cereal prices continue to fall as a result of the good levels of stocks in the Sahel zone and the early harvests in the south. In July 2019, the price of sorghum fell by around 20 to 50 per cent in the Sahelian area compared to the five-year average over the same period, and by 13 to 50 per cent in the Sudanian area. As for pearl millet, reductions range between 10 and 40 per cent from the south to the north. Rice prices are stable in almost all markets in the south thanks to good off-season harvests. ONASA-subsidized sales have played an important role in reducing prices, which is conducive to household food access. In Lac, cereal prices on the market have dropped as a result of hot off-season harvests and humanitarian aid for local populations and vulnerable groups (internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and refugees). In Tibesti, food prices are continuing to rise due to the conflict.

    Tibesti households continue to have limited income, mainly from petty trade, the black market, livestock sales, remittances from migrant workers and gold panning. This income has been declining since the conflict started and is limiting food purchases in markets, where costs are high. Similarly, food sources (market purchases and payments in-kind) are decreasing. A significant proportion of food on the market is imported from Libya or other parts of Chad, but trade routes are currently heavily disrupted. However, the consumption of dried meat remains stable. As a result, most households are facing consumption deficits or managing to maintain minimum consumption only by implementing Crisis strategies, including increasing livestock sales. A number of the most vulnerable households, including those exclusively headed by women, are in a more precarious situation and have even less access to income sources.

    In Lac, IDP households are relying primarily on humanitarian assistance, which barely meets their food needs. Most of their income from cash assistance, official employment and the sale of food products (from donations or payments in-kind for labor), coal, forest products and handicrafts is currently stable. However, income from salaried agricultural work is declining. Food sources such as food assistance, wild foods, market purchases and payments in-kind are also stable. On the other hand, fish consumption is currently low. IDPs have limited strategies that do not allow them to meet their non-food needs (health and clothing). Regarding nutrition, there is a relative seasonal increase in admissions which is not related to food, but rather to an increase in the number of treatment centers and the resurgence of waterborne diseases, acute respiratory infections and malaria.


    The current situation has not affected the assumptions used to develop the most likely scenario for the June 2019 to January 2020 period.  A full review of the scenario is available in the June 2019 to January 2020 outlook report. However, the following assumption on household cereal stocks has been updated:

    Household cereal stocks: Overall, stocks could last until harvest time in the Sahel zone, and until the start of the lean season (June 2019) in most regions of the Sudanian area (Moyen Chari, Mandoul and both Logones). An early start to the growing season in the south would lead to early harvests in August instead of September, limiting market dependency and improving household consumption.


    Households in Tibesti will continue to have food consumption deficits until January 2020 due to conflict and will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Similarly, displaced and refugee households in Lac will continue to experience difficulties meeting their food and non-food needs as a result of the Boko Haram conflict until January. They will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) thanks to humanitarian assistance. In September, very poor households in Kanem and BEG will remain under pressure due to stock depletion. From October onwards, poor and very poor households in all regions – with the exception of Tibesti and Lac Tchad – will depend on their own harvests, which could easily cover their food consumption. Therefore, they will be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity between October 2019 and January 2020.

    Figures Les flux commerciaux et le fonctionnement des marchés sont fortement perturbés au Tibesti.

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

    Source: FEWS NET

    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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