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Food security improves thanks to harvests of rainfed crops in October and November

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Chad
  • December 2016
Food security improves thanks to harvests of rainfed crops in October and November

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through May 2017
  • Key Messages
    • Household food consumption has improved significantly thanks to favorable harvests that will meet household food needs through the end of January/beginning of February 2017. The sale of food crops, normal livelihoods activities, and favorable access to well-supplied markets will contribute to good household food access, with most areas facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through May 2017. 

    • Food security for poor and very poor households in Kanem, Barh El Ghazel, and Wadi Fira regions (Kobé and Megri departments) and Guéra region (Abtouyour department) will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through May 2017 due to below-average income typical income sources, such as agricultural labor, remittances, and sales of livestock.  

    • Despite ongoing assistance, the deterioration in terms of trade associated with the current economic crisis, combined with the negative effects of the Boko Haram conflict, continue to result in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity for resident households in Lac Region. Food security will deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) starting in February as displaced households put pressure on food stocks of host households and as income from labor and sales of livestock continues to decline.

    Current Situation


    Agricultural situation: Harvests from the main agricultural season are proceeding normally. However, abnormally high temperatures during the month of November have been leading to abnormal dryness for flood recession sorghum (berbéré) and market garden crops, for which crop maintenance work is being carried on as usual. There are reports crop wilting in berbéré-producing areas such as Guera, Batha, and Chari Baguirmi. As a result, production of off-season crops between December 2016 (market garden crops) and the beginning of February 2017 (flood recession sorghum crops) will be below average.

    Pastoral conditions: Pastoral conditions are currently satisfactory, thanks to good availability of pasture and water, which will meet the needs of livestock through the end of March or the beginning of April 2017 (a month longer than usual) in most parts of the country, with the exception of a few Sahelian regions (Kanem, Barh el Ghazel, Batha, Guera, Wadi Fira, and Sila), where there is currently a shortage of pasture in transhumant pastoral areas. These shortages are the result of an excess supply of livestock with the ban on livestock exports to Nigeria, which could accelerate the departure of transhumant pastoralists.

    Agricultural labor: Limited income-earning opportunities (in construction, domestic service, etc.) in urban and semi-urban areas as a result of the ongoing economic crisis since October 2015 are creating an over-supply of labor in rural (pastoral and agropastoral) areas. Pay rates are lower than usual, at levels 30 to 50 percent below-average. Daily wage rates are between 750 and 1000 francs compared with the average of 1500 to 2000 francs in Kanem, Barh El Ghazel (BEG), and Chari Baguirmi regions and at 1500 francs compared with 2500 francs last year in Wadi Fira and Ouaddaï. This decline in income levels is also affecting poor households in Abtouyour (Guéra) highly dependent on this source of revenue.

    Household cereal stocks: Households are rebuilding cereal stocks with ongoing favorable harvests, which should be completed towards the end of December or the beginning of January 2017. Despite below-average production observed in  certain regions such as Wadi Fira (-6 percent) and Barh el Gazel Sud (-11 percent), cereal stocks are still at acceptable levels and should meet food needs through at least the end of January, when, as usual, households will be dependent on local markets. The pressure from displaced populations (refugees and returnees) will have a major effect on the levels of household cereal stocks in Kanem and BEG, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity.

    Situation in the Lake Chad area: Displaced and refugee populations (estimated at more than 131,765 people, as of October) will continue to receive humanitarian assistance on which they are dependent for their food access due to their lack of access to cropland owned by local households in host area. Food access will also remain limited in Lac region due to very poor market access. The closing of the border for security reasons and the ongoing economic crisis across the country are constraining all major sources of income. With the labor glut created by the displaced population, wage labor is also generating less income than usual.

    Markets and prices: Market supply of staple foods are slightly above normal thanks to ongoing harvests, which are also reinforcing most households’ food stocks.  At the same time, there is a relatively low seasonal demand due in part to the good harvests, but also due to the country’s economic crisis. Millet and rice prices are stable, but prices for sorghum and maize are lower than usual due to the good harvests and positive outlook for rice production.

    Current food security situation: Supplies of crops from ongoing harvests have visibly improved the current household food security situation. There is good dietary diversity with the availability of wild vegetables and tubers. Assistance programming encouraging market gardening activities is likely to increase very poor and poor households’ access to own-produced crops. Households in most parts of the country are facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, except in the Lac region where there is pressure on local livelihoods and food security remains Stressed (IPC Phase 2). 

    Updated Assumptions

    The assumptions used by FEWS NET to develop the most-likely scenario for October 2016 to May 2017 remain unchanged. 

    Projected Outlook through May 2017

    Households in the Kanem, BEG, Wadi Fira (Kobé and Megri departments), and Guéra (Abtouyour department) regions will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from February through at least May. These outcomes are likely due to the decline in their main sources of income, low levels of cereal stocks associated with the pressure from displaced populations (in Kanem and BEG), deterioration in terms of trade for sheep/cereals without the usual exports to Nigeria as a result of the devaluation of the Nigerian naira, the deterioration in terms of trade for wage income/cereals, and the limited opportunities due to the country’s continuing economic crisis. Households in the Lac region will begin experiencing food consumption gaps starting in February 2017 with the pressure from displaced households and refugees on local livelihoods, and will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity. 

    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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