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Satisfactory food security situation for very poor households

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Chad
  • May 2013
Satisfactory food security situation for very poor households

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through September 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Due to the good 2012/2013 cereal harvest and good off-season crop production levels, very poor and poor households currently have above-average cereal stocks, enabling households to more easily meet their basic food needs. Households in all livelihood zones will experience Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity between now and the end of June.  

    • Between July and September, the normal depletion of food stocks and atypically large price increases will produce Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes in certain regions (Western Mayo Kebbi, Eastern Logone, Tandjilé, Western Logone, Kanem, Bahr El Gazal, Eastern Batha, and Northern Guera).

    • In the Sudanian zone, the first reported rains started earlier than normal in March. As a result, there are reports of early, widespread planting activities - which normally start in mid-May - in localized areas of Moyen Chari, Mandoul, and Western Mayo Kebbi.   

    Current Situation
    • Agricultural conditions: Throughout most of Chad's agricultural zone, plowing is the main agricultural activity taking place at this time. In addition, crops are already being planted in nearly all areas of the Sudanian zone, where the rains began a full month earlier than normal. As a result, early varieties of sorghum and groundnut crops are in their germination phase in some areas of Moyen Chari, Mandoul, and Kabbia. Land clearing and field clean-up efforts are still underway in the Sahelian zone.
    • Pastoral conditions: In general, grazing and watering conditions for livestock are adequate. There is a growing scarcity of animal watering holes in the Sahelian zone, which is normal for this time of the year. Animal health conditions are stable and there are no reports of any major livestock disease outbreaks, with the exception of scattered cases of soil-borne diseases.
    • Farm labor: Due to ongoing planting activities in the Sudanian zone, as well as a larger area of land being planted this year due to the availability of tractors from the National Food Security Program (PNSA), demand for seasonal labor for the current planting season is above-average. This, combined with insufficient labor supply in certain areas, has driven up costs compared with the same time last year. For example, labor costs in the village of Guidholo, 11 kilometers southwest of Sarh, is up 33 percent to 1,000 FCFA/person/day, compared with 750 FCFA at the same time last year.
    • Household cereal stocks: In general, household cereal stock levels are low but still higher than usual for this time of the year. Harvests of off-season berbéré (flood-recession sorghum) and maize in the Sila, Salamat, Sarh, and Guera regions have strengthened household cereal supplies in these areas. However, in areas impacted by last year’s floods and in cereal-deficit provinces of Chad's Sudanian zone, household cereal stocks will not be sufficient to meet household food needs through the end of June, as stocks would during a normal year.   
    • Markets and prices: In the Sahelian zone, above-normal grain availability has kept the average price of cereals stable between April and May. Despite the massive presence of Sudanese refugees in Goz Beida, May prices for pearl millet in this area have remained unchanged compared to the same time last year and are down 27 percent compared with the five-year average. Due to the aftermath of last year's floods and a new strategy by famers to significantly expand the area planted in oilseed crops to the detriment of cereal crop production, the Sudanian zone is experiencing low market cereal inventories. This has driven pearl millet prices up 24 percent and 15 percent compared with the five-year average in Moundou and in Sarh, respectively.
    • Refugee situation in Tissi in eastern Chad: According to the findings of a joint assessment, conducted by the FAO and WFP between May 2-7, 2013, of the situation of Sudanese refugees, Chadian returnees, and the local population in the Tissi area, the majority of refugee households are pastoralists. As a result, there are currently more than 50,000 head of small ruminants at the camp. The assessment also found that these pastoral households are frequenting the local market, where they are selling livestock in order to purchase cereals. In addition, the market is reportedly well-stocked with a large availability of grains, vegetables, meat, fish, and other commodities.
    • Current food security situation: In general, the food security situation across the country is good, with relatively good prices compared with the same time last year and a sufficient availability of different food crops (ex. grains, oilseeds, vegetables, and tubers) to meet household needs. Household purchasing power is strong compared with the five-year average, bolstered by incomes from animal products, market garden produce, the sale of straw and firewood, and the sale of cotton in the Sudanian zone. Acute food insecurity analyses show that all areas of the country are currently experiencing Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.

    Updated Assumptions

    The current situation has not affected the assumptions used to develop FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for the period of April to September 2013. A full discussion of the scenario is available at the Food Security Outlook for April through September 2013

    Projected Outlook through September 2013

    The food security outlook remains positive, with early rains accelerating crop growth and development of early groundnuts, basin-irrigated maize, and early sorghum. This will help households better cope with food insecurity during the lean season (June through September). However, households in certain cereal-deficit areas of the Sudanian zone (Western Mayo Kebbi, Eastern Logone, Tandjilé, and Western Occidental) that were affected by last year’s flash floods will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity between July and September due to the depletion of cereal stocks and seasonal price increases that will limit cereal access for very poor and poor households. Likewise, certain parts of the Sahelian Belt (Kanem, Barh-El-Gazal, Eastern Batha, and the northern reaches of Guera) will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity outcomes with the seasonal depletion of household cereal stocks, government restrictions on cereal shipments to these areas that would improve grain availability, and global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates which are expected to be high in these zones.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    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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