Food Security Outlook

Food security beginning to deteriorate in agropastoral areas

February 2017 to September 2017

February - May 2017

Chad February 2017 Food Security Projections for February to May

June - September 2017

Chad February 2017 Food Security Projections for June to September

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The closure of the border with Nigeria continues to disrupt trade and household livelihoods activities in the LAC and Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti (BET) regions, which depend on remittances and the trade of imported goods such as processed foods and fuel. This measure, in combination with the depreciation of the Nigerian Naira, will continue to negatively impact food access for poor households in Lac and BET regions, where food security will deteriorate from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between February and May to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between June and September as households also exhaust household food stocks.

  • Although food will remain available on markets, household access to staple foods on markets will remain limited as household purchasing power remains lower than normal due to above-average maize prices. Household livelihood strategies will continue to be disrupted by insecurity and these areas will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and September 2017. 

  • Following below-average rice production and the early exhaustion of household food stocks in Tandjilé, as well as reductions in labor income and livestock prices in Wadi Fira, poor households will start to sell more livestock than usual and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between February and May, and will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between June and September 2017. 

     

National Overview

 

Current situation

Agropastoral conditions

In general, there are adequate levels of national cereal production for the 2016-2017 growing season compared with the average (+11 percent) as a result of favorable rainfall in 2016. This above-average production is also attributable to the larger areas planted in crops in most parts of the country.

However, there are reports of below-average cereal harvests in four areas of the country attributed to the dry spells and poor distribution of rainfall in those areas, namely BEG (-11 percent), Wadi Fira (-6 percent) and the rice-growing area of Tandjilé (-12 percent). Nevertheless, the last harvest of rainy season crops boosted carry-over cereal stocks in surplus areas, ensuring good household food availability.

Agricultural activities for off-season crops in the Lac Region are going normally. There are already supplies of certain early crops (okra, tomatoes, eggplants, lettuce, and fenugreek) on markets in Bol. Garlic and tomato crops are already being harvested in Ouaddaï (Ouara) and Sila (Kimiti) and are making normal progress in Wadi Fira (Dar Tama). Flood-recession sorghum crops in Ouaddaï are being harvested sooner than usual due to the atypically high temperatures and for fear of bird infestations. Preparations for the growing of hot off-season crops in Mayo Kebbi and Tandjilé are going well and will continue through the end of February.

While the locust situation across the country is generally stable, there are reports of a few isolated pockets of bird infestations in Fitri and parts of Salamat, with no major effects on off-season (berbéré) crops.

Pastoral conditions are starting to deteriorate in practically all parts of the Sahel. The deterioration is more visible in the Lac, Kanem, Bar El Ghazal, Batha, Wadi Fira, Northeastern Guera, Northwestern Salamat, and Sila areas.

The lean season for pastoral populations in the transhumant pastoral zone will begin much earlier than usual. This will affect conditions in the Sudanian zone, where it will also put pressure on the availability of pasture resources.

Markets and trade

There are surplus supplies of cereals on practically all markets with the good volume of national cereal production, except in the Lac region where intra-regional trade flows are disrupted from time to time by the security situation in that area. There has reportedly been a slight rise in cereal demand in that area and the neighboring BEG (a deficit area), Kanem, and Borkou areas since the closure of the country’s border with Libya on January 5, 2017. The situation is the same in Wadi Fira which, in addition to the below-average production for the last growing season, is also feeling the effects of the closure of the Libyan border. There is a normal flow of supplies in the Sudanian zone. Cereal markets in the Southeast, in Moyen Chari, Mayo Kebbi, and East and West Logone, are functioning normally. In contrast, the 14 percent below-average levels of production in Tandjilé has tightened supplies in that area.

Population movements

Boko Haram-related conflict continues to displace local populations from the Lac region southwards. According to the latest OCHA bulletin, over 415,214 people have been displaced by these conflicts. The respite in recent weeks is encouraging certain IDPs to return to their homes and others to make isolated attempts to head back to their villages.

Humanitarian assistance

Numerous programs designed to improve household food security are being implemented by different humanitarian organizations in Moyen Chari (for refugees from the Central African Republic), Ouaddai, Wadi Fira, Sila (for Sudanese refugees), and Lac (for refugees from Nigeria and IDPs). There are blanket cash transfer programs, assistance programs for the promotion of income-generating activities, reclamation programs for polder areas, etc. for conflict victims and affected populations, or an estimated 25,074 people.

Food security situation

With the favorable national cereal production, most households are able to meet their food needs and will have adequate food access and food consumption. On the other hand, households in deficit areas (Tandjilé, BEG, and Wadi Fira) and with prematurely depleted food stocks will be obliged to reduce their food consumption and unable to engage in nonessential spending. Despite its surplus cereal production, the Lac area is under heavy pressure, both from IDPs and from neighboring areas. Local households will be facing the depletion of their food stocks, eventually leading to food consumption gaps.

Assumptions

The most likely food security scenario for February through September 2017 is based on the following national-level assumptions:

  • Agro-climatic conditions: Based on an analysis of rainfall forecasts, the outlook for the 2017-18 agricultural season is for average levels of rainfall. There will be a normal start-of-season and crops will be planted on schedule.
  • Harvest forecast for off-season crops: Ongoing harvests of market garden crops and harvests of flood-recession sorghum crops continuing through the end of February or the beginning of March will be near average. The extremely high temperatures between November and January will dramatically affect harvests of off-season crops, particularly in the central reaches of the Sahel in Guéra (Abtouyour department).
  • Pastoral conditions: While animal health conditions are stable, livestock are facing grazing and watering problems, primarily in the transhumant pastoral zone and, to a lesser extent, in a few areas in the Sudanian zone under pressure from overly high stocking rates with the massive concentrations of transhumant livestock in these areas. There are reportedly earlier than usual herd movements southwards due to the security problems along the borders of the transhumant pastoral zone, which are putting pressure on pasture resources in central areas (Batha, Guera, and Salamat). Even more remote southern areas (such as Moyen Chari and Mandoul) have not been spared. The poor pasture availability in Wadi Fira as a result of the severe dry spells in 2016 is also partially responsible for these early herd movements by transhumant livestock, which will continue to increase between now and the beginning of the rainy season.
  • Transhumant herd movements and physical condition of livestock: The Sahelian zone in general and the transhumant pastoral zone in particular will be severely affected by the pasture deficit, which will hasten the start of the lean season for pastoral populations. There will be growing transhumant herd movements throughout the first quarter of the year.
  • Livestock markets: Livestock markets across the country are well-stocked with animals due to a surplus of livestock. The closure of the country’s border with Nigeria will continue to disrupt the livelihoods of pastoral households.
  • This measure is continuing to affect local prices for livestock. The reduction in income from the sale of livestock is steadily weakening the purchasing power of pastoral households.
  • Cereal markets and prices: There will continue to be normal cereal supplies on markets in most parts of the country, which will be further bolstered by harvests of off-season crops. The current, slightly weak, seasonal demand will be sustained throughout the first half of the outlook period. Cereal prices will be driven up slightly (Figure 1) between June and September by two sets of dynamics: (1) a heightened demand to meet the food consumption needs of households under pressure from the cereal deficit (in BEG), poor crop production (in Kanem), the closure of the country’s border with Libya, and the security situation in the Lac region, combined with the national economic crisis; and (2) the depletion of food stocks, the lean season in agricultural areas, and the upcoming feasts (of Ramadan and Tabaski). There will be normal seasonal rises in prices in other areas of the country at the end of the first half of the outlook period, except for the atypical rises in the price of rice throughout the outlook period due to the low levels of rice inventories.
  • Closure of the border between Chad and Libya: The country’s Saharan (particularly Tibesti and Borkou) and Sahelian (Kanem, BEG, and Wadi Fira) regions have been severely affected by the closure of the Libyan border. This measure will disrupt local livelihoods, which are virtually completely dependent on cross-border trade. The suspension of trade with Libya will not only affect household sources of food, but will also affect sources of income for very poor households, further reducing if not halting the flow of cash remittance income from Libya. Given the earnings from this source and the importance of imports of processed foods for households in the Sahelian zone, this could weaken food consumption by these households.

Trends in prices for staple food and cash crops

  • Maize prices: The reported decline in maize prices in January could be followed by a rise in prices by at least 15 percent beginning in February, before starting to trend downwards in March and April with upcoming harvests of cold off-season crops. The expected assistance program by ONASA (the National Food Security Agency) in May could briefly stabilize prices during that month. However, the pressure from displaced populations on the food stocks of host households and heightened demand in deficit (BEG) and low-production (Kanem) areas, fueled by the closure of the Libyan border, will drive up prices on markets in Bol between June (+27 percent) and September (+40 percent).
  • Millet prices in the BEG and Wadi Fira areas will rise sharply. There will be a moderate rise in prices in the rice-growing area of Tandjilé at the end of the first half of the outlook period, driven by the reported production deficits. Hot off-season crop production will help stabilize millet prices in May and June through the availability of irrigated rice, which is used as a substitute food.
  • Sorghum prices: The current downward trend in sorghum prices with the good levels of production for the 2016 - 2017 crop year will be followed by a rise in prices as the end of February or the beginning of March and continuing through the month of September, driven by the rising price of fuel.
  • Prices for sesame (a major cash crop): The average volume of sesame production for this past season is reinforcing carry-over stocks from the previous year. The surplus on markets in Guéra and resulting drop in prices, driven by an extremely low seasonal demand, will continue throughout the entire first half of the outlook period. This unusual state of affairs is attributable to the poor national economic situation and will affect the sources of income of Agricultural households growing these crops.

Most likely food security outcomes

Between February and May: The lower maize and millet stocks of very poor and poor households in deficit areas (BEG and Wadi Fira) and the depletion of rice stocks in Tandjilé and sorghum stocks in Abtouyour department will begin to make these households market-dependent. With the rising prices on cereal markets, poor households will have difficulty meeting their basic food needs without resorting to unsustainable coping and will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes. Households in all other parts of the country (with the exception of the Lac region due to the security situation in that area) will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.

Between June and September: The lean season will be more difficult than usual for agricultural populations in the Lac region, where security problems are disrupting local livelihoods. Deficit and low-production areas such as BEG and Kanem, northern Guera (Abtouyour), and Wadi Fira will be in the same situation. Thus, departments in which food security is Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in the first half of the outlook period will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during the lean season as agricultural households face food consumption gaps. The strong pressure of local demand and tightening/scarcity of sources of income will affect household livelihoods in these areas between June and August 2017. By September, harvests of early crops at the end of the lean season, the gathering of wild plant foods, and milk production will help improve food consumption by very poor and poor households, particularly in the transhumant pastoral zone.

For more information on the outlook for specific areas of concern, please click the download button at the top of the page for the full report.

 

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics