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Harvests improve food security across Chad

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Chad
  • November 2014
Harvests improve food security across Chad

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through March 2015
  • Key Messages
    • Cereal production is estimated at 2,669,653 metric tonnes, up nine percent from the five-year average. Despite being up nationally, production is lower than the five-year average in the regions of Wadi Fira and Tandjilé and lower than the four-year average in Kanem, Mayo Kebbi Ouest, Moyen Chari, and Hadjer Lamis. 

    • Most households' food is coming from newly harvested crops. Very poor and poor households are able to meet their food needs thanks to the availability of a variety of foods, such as dairy products, cereals, oilseeds, cowpeas, earth peas, cassava, potatoes, wild vegetables, fresh and dried/smoked fish, locusts, and fresh vegetables (tomatoes, lettuce, squash, carrots, etc.). 

    • These households are able to meet their basic food needs without resorting atypical coping strategies. All livelihood zones are therefore facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity, a situation that will last through December. 

    • From January through March 2015, households in the regions of Kanem, Bar-El-Gazal, and Guera will begin having difficulty accessing food as they become much more market-dependent, with prices rising above average due to the fuel crisis. During this period, they will experience Stress (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. 


    Current Situation

    Agricultural conditions: All rainfed crops (millet, sorghum, maize, oilseeds, cowpeas) are at the harvesting, threshing (cereals), pod formation (groundnuts), and storage-preservation stages. Berbéré (flood-recession sorghum) crops are at the height growth-elongation-early heading stages. Market garden crops are at the nursery bed-thinning stage. According to the joint CILSS/WFP/SISAAP/FAO/FEWS NET/Government pre-harvest assessment, total national cereal production is estimated at 2,669,653 metric tonnes, ensuring acceptable levels of cereal availability throughout the country. This estimate is two percent higher than the results of the last growing season (2,620,608 metric tonnes) and nine percent higher than the five-year average (2,452,698 metric tonnes). However, in certain areas, cereal production levels are below the five-year average. The areas experiencing the biggest decline compared to the five-year average are Wadi Fira (down 26%) and Tandjilé (down 27%). Mayo Kebbi Ouest has shown the biggest decline compared to the four-year average (down 19%).

    Agricultural labor: Demand for agricultural labor and income from this source are high, particularly in rice- and cotton-producing areas. In Moyen Chari, the average daily wage is hovering around 12,500 FCFA per day/hectare for cereal harvesting, up from 9,000 FCFA in a normal year. 

    Pastoral conditions: Pasture is currently available in sufficient quantities to meet livestock needs until late March, after which the pastoral lean season will begin one month early in most agro-pastoral and transhumant livestock rearing zones. Pastoralists are beginning to build up their stocks (groundnut leaves, cowpeas, maize and rice stalks) to prepare to supplement their animal feed during the lean season. Water levels in ponds and other wadis are generally higher than last year. 

    Cereal markets and prices: Markets are well stocked with newly harvested crops, particularly cereals. Prices are generally stable in the Sudanian zone (down two percent) and down in the Sahelian zone. Cereal prices observed on the markets in the Sahelian zone were generally lower in November 2014 than in October, particularly in Ati (millet prices down 22 percent) and Mongo (down eight percent). Millet prices are 20 and seven percent lower in Abéché and Mongo, respectively, than during the same time last year. Prices are 12, 29, and 10 percent lower than the five-year average in Abéché (millet), Mongo, and Ati, respectively. Trade flows continue to move toward consumption markets, particularly in N’Djamena. 

    Population movements: Large numbers of agricultural day laborers are reported around Manda, west of Sarh (Moyen Chari), coming from Tandjilé. This is also the case in the Sahelian zone between Abéché and Biltine, where seasonal workers attracted by this year's high production levels in Ouaddaï and a large part of Wadi Fira have set up camp. 

    Fuel crisis: The fuel crisis is having a significant impact on economic activity in general. In the Sudanian zone, a liter of gasoline, which previously cost 525 FCFA at the pump and 600 FCFA from retailers, currently costs between 1,250 and 2,500 FCFA, causing transportation costs to rise. The fuel crisis is also having an impact on the use of mills, threshing machines, motor pumps, etc. 

    Current food security situation: The food security situation is satisfactory thanks to the availability of milk and newly harvested crops. Some poor households have started to rebuild their food stocks and are also able to meet their food needs with income from farm labor earned from their work during the harvest. The food security situation has significantly improved throughout the country and will remain at the current level through December. 


    Updated Assumptions

    The current situation has not changed the assumptions used by FEWS NET to establish the most-likely scenario for the period from October 2014 through March 2015. A full discussion of the scenario can be found in the Food Security Outlook for October 2014 through March 2015


    Projected Outlook through March 2015

    Beginning in January, food stock levels will fall as in a normal year in the regions of Kanem and Bar-El-Gazal and will fall one to two months earlier than usual in Guera. With nearly 46 percent less area planted in berbéré (flood-recession sorghum) in Bahr Signaka (Guera), households could become more market-dependent. Cereal prices will rise atypically during this period. In addition, ONASA (National Food Security Agency) reserves that were ensuring access to food for poor households are currently at their lowest levels. As a result, these households will resort to an atypical intensification of normal livelihood strategies. Poor households will therefore spend less than usual on essential non-food items and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from January to March. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1

    Source:

    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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