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Good rainfall quickly improves food security in certain regions

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Chad
  • September 2018
Good rainfall quickly improves food security in certain regions

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface

  • Preface



    FEWS NET Food Security Outlook Updates in September 2018 have an extended outlook beyond the standard projection period. The end of this report includes a discussion of most-likely outcomes through the end of the next lean season for this country. Reporting for this country may follow a non-standard schedule in the coming months. Check back regularly for new analysis, subscribe for report updates, or follow us on social media.

    Key Messages
    • Rainfall continues uninterrupted and with good spatial and temporal distribution. Cumulative rainfall in September is slightly higher than normal in most regions. These satisfactory rainfall conditions have led to an increase in the size of areas planted (cereals and oilseeds) compared to the 5-year average. Harvests have begun in some areas and national production is expected to exceed the 5-year average.

    • Due to the replenishment of waterholes and satisfactory grass cover development, pastoral conditions have improved. Animals are showing satisfactory body condition and income from the sale of animals and dairy products has improved household consumption and access to food. Households currently under Stressed (IPC Phase 2) will be in Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) between October 2018 and January 2019. 

    • Most households in Chad are beginning to consume early harvest crops (sorghum, maize, millet, etc.) rather than getting supplies from the markets. These households are able to meet their basic food needs and will be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity until January 2019. The exception to this are households in the Lac region which have been affected by the conflict and remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) thanks to food assistance.



    Pastoral resources: Pastoral conditions have improved rapidly in the Guera, Ouaddaï, Wadi Fira, Kanem, Barh El Ghazal, Batha and Hadjer Lamis regions, thanks to good rainfall in May and June. Fodder availability is generally sufficient to cover animal needs until the end of the 2019 lean season. The waterholes are sufficiently refilled and the animals are in above-average physical condition. Terms of trade are improving due to lower cereal prices as a result of the presence of early harvests in the markets. 

    Agricultural conditions: The 2018/2019 growing season is developing as normal in both the Sudanian and Sahelian zones. Compared to the average for  2007 to 2016, the cumulative rainfall anomaly shows a large to moderate surplus in regions from the north to the south of the country, except for the two Logone, Tanjilé, Mandoul, Moyen Chari and southern Salamat regions, where there is a slight deficit. These favorable rainfall conditions have facilitated normal crop development and generated enthusiasm among large producers, leading them to increase planted areas. High demand for agricultural labor, especially for weeding, has led to an increase in the cost of daily labor. For example, in Mongo the current cost of labor is 2,500 XAF /day, compared to 1,500 to 2,000 XAF/day in 2017. This demand is increasing with the ongoing berbere (sorghum) transplanting. 

    Household activities in the Lac region are focused on the last round of millet weeding and the last irrigation of polder maize. The cumulative rainfall recorded in Bol from June 2018 to date is 408 mm (National Rural Development Agency), which is above the 350 mm average. The temporal and spatial distribution is good, which would ensure a higher than normal level of production. Most households have started to consume the produce from their own fields.

    Cereal markets: With the exception of Lac, markets are well supplied by traders who are beginning to reduce their stockpiles in anticipation of a good end to the growing season. Market supply is supplemented by the availability of early harvests of maize and sorghum. On the market in Mongo, there is maize grown in Salamat during the current growing season. In Lac, supply is low compared to a normal year due to the effect of conflict on trade flows.

    In September, maize and rice prices were largely stable in comparison to the 5-year average, but below average for millet and sorghum.

    The price of small ruminants is lower than average due to high market availability, the cessation of exports and low demand due to the economic crisis. However, in Lac and Sila, prices are rising due to insecurity and the growth in cross-border trade with Sudan.

    Current food situation: Pastoral and agro-pastoral household food consumption in the Kanem, Lac, Bahr El Ghazal, Batha, Wadi Fira, northern Hadjer Lamis and northern Guera regions improved in September instead of August, despite the early arrival of the rains. Food consumption deficits decreased thanks to the improved terms of trade for livestock/cereals and for labor/cereals. The food situation in most households in the Sahelian area has improved and is now Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Thanks to food assistance, this also includes households in lake Chad region.  Households in other areas of the country that were Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until August are currently in Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1).


    The current situation has not affected the development of the FEWS NET most likely scenario for June to January 2018. A full review of the scenario is available in the outlook report for June 2018 to January 2019. However, the following assumptions on pastoral resources and the agricultural labor outlook have been updated as follows:

    • Pastoral resources: Despite the early return of the rains, pastoral conditions began to improve in September, not in August, as was previously indicated.
    • Agricultural labor income: In September, income from agricultural labor is above average, not below average, as was previously indicated, thanks to good employment opportunities linked to the increase in planted areas and the increased cost of daily labor cost.


    From October, stocks will be replenished by new harvests and households throughout the country will be able to meet their food needs. Their dependence on markets will be significantly reduced. Dairy availability will also improve due to the sale of agricultural products. Food consumption could improve during this period and the results of the acute food insecurity analysis indicate that the entire country will be in Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) until January. In Lac, households will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) thanks to food assistance.



    The recent resumption of conflict (June 2018) around lake Chad has led to continued displacement. This conflict is linked to the economic crisis and low employment opportunities in neighboring countries and it prevents normal livestock exports and money transfers. Very poor and poor households in areas with a structural deficit, such as Kanem, Barh el Gazel and part of Wadi Fira, face a total depletion of food stocks and will depend on markets from June 2019. Despite the market price of sorghum in Mongo (some factors may change our projection) which may be below the 5-year average during the next lean season, income from livestock sales and agricultural labor will fall between June and September 2019, limiting access to food. Other factors, such as the current economic crisis and fuel crisis, could also contribute to food difficulties.

    Projected outcomes

    The 2019 pastoral lean season will be normal due to satisfactory availability of livestock fodder and drinking water. The agricultural lean season will be short and less severe, due to the good stock levels and low cereal prices.

    Poor households in areas with a structural deficit, such as Kanem, Barh el Gazel, and part of Wadi Fira, may face a consumption deficit. Therefore, there will be Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) from June through to the end of the next lean season in September 2019. Without planned food assistance, the lake Chad area will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during the next lean season of June to September 2019. In regions that have production deficits for at least three out of five years, such as South Wadi Fira, Sila and Batha, even with an average to slightly above-average predicted harvest, households will find it difficult to cover certain non-food expenditures between June and September and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The rest of the country would be in Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1).

    Figures The main harvest is from September to mid-November. The off-season harvest is from January to April. Off-season land preparat

    Figure 1

    Source: FEWS NET

    Lr prix du sorgho devrait se trouver en dessous de la moyenne au début de 2019 pour retrouver un niveau moyen en mai 2019.

    Figure 2

    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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