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Signs of improving food security conditions in areas currently facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3)

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Chad
  • September 2014
Signs of improving food security conditions in areas currently facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3)

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through December 2014
  • Key Messages
    • In the Sudanian zone, household food access improved as good July/August rains supported the usual early harvest of maize, sorghum, and peanut crops.Good milk availability and increases in income from the sale of early crops also helped increase food consumption in these areas in September. 

    • Despite the late start-of-season in the Sahelian zone, rainfall has significantly improved and become more regular in August and part of September. However, harvests are expected to begin a few weeks later than usual due to localized delays in crop growth and development. There are above-average levels of pasture cover and livestock are in better physical condition. 

    • Poor households in Wadi Fira and southern Bahr El-Ghazel (BEG) will face continuing food consumption deficits and will barely meet their basic food needs through the end of the month. Thus, both areas are still in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!), while conditions in the neighboring areas of Kanem, Hadjer Lamis, northern BEG, and Batha will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the end of the month.

    Current Situation

    Agricultural conditions: With the improvement in rainfall activity as of the end of July, agricultural conditions are relatively good in spite of the two-to-three-week delay in the start-of-season. The late start-of-season delayed the planting of crops which, as a result, will mature later than usual. Thus, widespread harvesting activities will get underway in mid-October in the Sudanian zone, rather than the typical early October. Similarly, harvesting in the Sahelian zone will begin in late October, rather than mid-October. Plant health conditions are stable in spite of the presence of certain inherent cotton pests, which is normal.

    Farm labor: The harvesting of peanut and maize crops and subsequent weeding of cowpea and sesame crops in certain parts of the South are driving the large demand for farm labor and high rates of pay for day laborers. The average daily wage in Mont de Lam (in Logone Occidental) is 1000 CFAF this year, compared with 750 CFAF last year. This higher cost of labor is a result of the close to nine percent increase in area planted since last year.

    Pastoral conditions: Pastoral conditions have visibly improved in nearly all agricultural and agropastoral areas since the beginning of August. Current pasture coverage is above average in nearly all parts of the country are above-average, except in a few southern areas (Moyen Chari and Mandoul), where pasture production is still below average due to the late start of the rainy season, the poor spatial-temporal distribution of rainfall, and the pressure on available pasture supplies (from the presence of pastoralists from CAR in these areas). Animal watering holes are at their usual levels. Livestock are in generally good physical condition, which is reflected in the large market supplies of milk. Transhumant pastoralists are still north of Wadi-Fira, in the vicinity of Arada.

    Situation of returnees/refugees: Returnees from CAR are still being provided humanitarian assistance by WFP. The distributions of food vouchers beginning two weeks ago in Moyen Chari, for example, have just ended. Distributions of food assistance to refugees in Maro and Sido just started up around September 20. In general, the situation of returnees and refugees was stable as of late September.

    Cereal markets and prices: There is currently an atypical high demand for sorghum from transhumant pastoralists on the Abéché market due to last year’s poor crop production in Biltine (their usual source market at this time of year). This has driven sorghum prices up to around 220 CFAF/kg, compared with 140 CFAF last year. Cereal prices in the southern part of the country are up from September of last year (by 16 percent for millet in Sarh and 15 percent for sorghum in Moundou). The sole exception is the stable price of millet in Moundou. Sorghum prices in Sarh are nine percent above average due to the current low market supply of cereal crops with the slight lag in the start-of-season and maturation of crops and the presence of returnees from CAR, who are being supplied by the same market.

    Current food security situation: The food security situation in the Sudanian zone is improving as the first harvests food are appearing on the market. Some households have already started to rebuild their food stocks with the new harvests. Very poor and poor households are also able to meet their food needs with income from farm labor earned from their work during the harvest. In spite of the long lean season in most parts of the Sahelian zone, the current food security situation in all areas with the exception of Wadi Fira and BEG is beginning to show a slight improvement, with localized harvests of early crops and the availability of milk, though their food security classification for the month of September remains unchanged. Food security conditions in the two areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are also showing signs of improvement with the various assistance programs in these areas, including subsidized sales (at fixed prices two-thirds below market prices), the availability of wild foods, and the high demand for farm labor. Thus, poor households are beginning to earn good daily wages as a source of cereal access, though they will continue to face food consumption gaps through the beginning of October.

    Updated Assumptions

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

    Projected Outlook through December 2014

    As usual, there will be freshly harvested crops available as of October, with a good food security outlook for the period from October through December. Households in all livelihood zones will be able to meet their food needs more easily with crops from the main harvest, which will sharply reduce their dependence on market purchasing. There will be an improvement in milk availability and income from crop sales and market-gardening activities in areas adjacent to year-round and semi-permanent water sources. There could be an improvement in food consumption during this period and, there should be Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity across the country through the end of December.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in 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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