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Though delayed, the growing season is intensifying with the July rains

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Chad
  • July - December 2015
Though delayed, the growing season is intensifying with the July rains

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  • Key Messages
  • National Overview
  • Key Messages
    • Cumulative rainfall totals as of July 20, 2015 in many areas were down from the same time in 2014, particularly in the central reaches of the country. These rainfall deficits delayed crop planting activities in agricultural areas by one to two weeks, depending on the area. This could mean the planting of smaller areas for certain crops, thereby reducing yields. The main farming activities currently underway are plowing, sowing, and weeding.

    • Cereal prices in the Sahelian zone are stable for the third consecutive month but up slightly from July 2014. This reported price stability could last through September, followed by a normal seasonal decline in prices between October and December. However, cereal prices will stay above the five-year average.

    • Households in the southern part of the country should continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between now and October and beyond in other parts of the country owing, mainly, to the various crop-producing activities underway. The improvement in pastoral conditions with the current steady new pasture growth and the recovery of livestock are boosting pastoral incomes and milk availability.

    • There will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity in the Western Sahel through September due to the below-average harvests from the 2014/2015 growing season and influx of IDPs as a result of the conflict with Boko Haram. However, the upcoming harvests and growing food availability and food access will improve food consumption, bringing down food insecurity to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels beginning in October.


    National Overview
    Current situation

    The late start-of-season delayed crop planting activities in the southern part of the country, but the moderate to heavy rain in the month of July helped to increase farming activities. There was also a fairly good spatial-temporal distribution of rainfall in the latter part of July. Plowing, crop planting activities, and field maintenance work (clean-up and weeding) continue.

    There is a relatively good supply of pasture, which is effectively meeting the needs of livestock. However, there are lower levels of natural vegetation than at the same time last year due to the late start-of-season. Seasonal lakes and ponds are two thirds full and are normally meeting animal watering needs. As a result, livestock are in fairly good physical condition.

    The progress of the 2015 growing season in the Ouaddaï, Bata, and Wadi Fira regions of the country’s Sahelian zone is raising some concern, where cumulative rainfall totals are already below-average (Figure 1). However, as was the case last year, there were successful widespread crop planting activities in the Ouaddaï region, spurred by the rainfall activity between the middle and end of July, where approximately 60 percent of cropping areas have been planted primarily in pearl millet, peanuts, sesame, and, to a lesser extent, sorghum. The growing season in other parts of the Sahelian zone is more or less on track. The main farming activities currently underway across this area are ongoing crop planting activities and plowing.

    Markets in the southern part of the country are still well-stocked with food products, particularly cereals. There is adequate cereal availability on retail markets from remaining large trader inventories at both the wholesale and retail level. Supplies on these markets will be better than on assembly markets until the upcoming harvest. There is a high market demand for maize, pearl millet, sesame, and peanuts. Pearl millet prices in Moundou, for example, are up sharply from June 2014, fueled by high demand. Prices for cash crops (peanuts and sesame) on the Doba market have also increased. Prices for livestock are on the rise, driven up by the heightened demand for an average bull at this time of year for plowing. Market supplies of small ruminants are limited with agropastoralists busy working their fields.

    There is currently a fairly large supply of cereals in the Sahelian zone, in line with the high demand for the observance of Ramadan. There are average steady inter and intra-regional trade flows. The largest flow of cereal trade originates in Sila, which is a major crop-producing area. The cereal crops are assembled into bulk shipments in Abéché and Biltine for transport to East and West Ennedi. There are also cereal transfers from Abdi (Ouaddaï) to other regions or departments (Oum-Hadjer, Mangalmé, and Ati). Thus, the cereal market in Abdi is doing a brisk business with wholesale traders from Biltine and Oum-Hadjer (East Batha). There is an especially high demand for pearl millet, which is normal.

    Supplies on markets in the western reaches of the Sahel are low as a result of the poor yields from cereal crops for 2014/2015 and the pressure from refugees and returnees on the host population. The Bol market is posting the highest prices. Current prices for maize range from 260 to 280 CFAF/kg, which is 30 percent above the five-year average. According to traders, there is reportedly no foreign demand due to the disruptions caused by the conflict with Boko Haram.

    There is a regular flow of cross-border trade between Chad and Sudan, with cereal transfers from crop-producing areas of Sila and Assoungha. There are large shipments of sorghum to Sudan from Kerfi, Tissi, and Amdoukhoun. There is also reportedly some demand for exports of sesame and peanuts to that neighboring country. The main imports from Sudan are sugar, pasta, wheat flour, and dates.

    Cattle exports to Nigeria are still limited on account of the the Boko Haram conflict. The only other exports are reportedly informal exports to Sudan. There is an ongoing flow of sheep and camel exports to Libya, with large numbers of animals beginning to pass through the northern Borkou Ennedi Tibesti area. Livestock prices on local markets are starting to rise, fueled by a reportedly low supply and normal seasonal demand, boosted by demand for the observance of Ramadan.

    Refugees from the Central African Republic are receiving monthly supplies of food and nonfood assistance to meet their food needs, including items such as sorghum, green peas, oil, salt, etc. Returnees are furnished with one food voucher per person valued at 6,000 CFAF. The OIM (the International Organization for Migration) is in charge of targeting recipients for this assistance prior to its distribution. The FAO and its partner, the NGO Initiative Humanitaire pour le Développement Local (IHDL), have provided certain households of refugees with sorghum, maize, peanut, and rice seeds for crop production to help them become self-sufficient.

    On the whole, most household food consumption is limited to wild-growing vegetables, wild plant foods, tubers, and, to a lesser extent, cereals. There are still available market supplies of cereals for the current lean season, when market purchase is a much more important source of food access to meet food needs, but quantities are limited and prices are fluctuating. Though the food security situation in just about all parts of the country is problematic at this time of year, there has been a slight improvement in conditions in certain pastoral areas in the western part of the country (northern Kanem and the BEG area) with the good availability of milk in these areas. Households in southern Bahr el Ghazal, Lac, southern Kanem, Djourf al Amar (Sila), Biltine, and Guera (Abtouyour, Mangalme, and Melfi) are still having difficulty meeting their food needs with the depletion of their food stocks, the late start of the growing season, the rising prices of cereals, and the poor pastoral conditions in these areas.

    Assumptions

    The most likely food security scenario for July through December 2015 is based on the following assumptions on nationwide conditions:

    • There have already been major disruptions to the 2015 rainy season in certain parts of southern and eastern Chad. Looking ahead, seasonal forecasts for the central and western parts of the country are predicting average to above-average levels of cumulative rainfall in large areas of the country for the rest of the season. However, forecasts for the eastern part of the country are showing poorer conditions, where cumulative rainfall totals are expected to be below-average. The average to above-average rainfall in the central and western reaches of the country between now and October could reverse the rainfall deficits observed at the beginning of the season, though there will be more severe rainfall deficits in eastern areas of the country (Figure 2).
    • There are currently average levels of pasture in the southern part of the country, where there should be a further slight improvement in conditions in spite of the reported dry spells since the beginning of the season. There are no initial signs of any unusual desert locust problem and, based on the good seasonal outlook, there should be good levels of new pasture growth for 2015. There is virtually no fresh pasture in the Sahelian zone and the stocks of fodder amassed by certain pastoralists are starting to be depleted. The rains will improve conditions between now and October, but there will be very little new pasture growth in the eastern part of the Sahelian zone.
    • Livestock will continue to recover with the improvement in the condition of pastures. They should be in normal physical shape and will have easy access to water readily available in seasonal lakes and ponds and backwater streams.
    • On the whole, there will be an adequate supply of farm labor during the current high-season for farming activities. Wage rates in most of the country should be comparable to figures for the same time last year. Depending on the area, a good worker could perform two to three rounds of weeding, pocketing 1000 to 1500 CFAF or more for each day of work. The only exception is in the Lac area, where competition for this source of income from the growing supply of labor with the massive presence of refugees and returnees from Nigeria will drive down daily wage rates.
    • The conflict in northeastern Nigeria is still severely disrupting marketing channels and limiting all trading activities between the two neighboring countries. According to traders, the alternate route through Niger via Lake Chad established by Chadian traders to move their animals will remain abandoned due to the attacks by Boko Haram in the Diffa region (of Niger).
    • Shipments of fresh crops as of October will improve market cereal supplies. However, cross-border trade flows in the western, northern, and southern parts of the country will probably continue to be disrupted by the conflicts and civil security situation in Nigeria, Libya, and the Central African Republic until at least December. There will be a continued strong market demand for cereals through October, during the lean season, until the upcoming harvests for the main growing season. Demand will slow as of October, in line with normal seasonal trends, as farming households draw on their stocks of home-grown crops. However, there could continue to be a stronger than usual market demand for cereals between now and December in receiving areas for IDPs from the Central African Republic (in the southern part of the country) and the conflict with Boko Haram (in the Lake Chad area).
    • The current stability in cereal prices in most crop-producing areas could last through October with the regular flow of supplies to local markets. There should be a normal seasonal decline in prices as of October with the arrival of the first fresh crops on local markets, boosting market supplies. There will be relatively normal local supplies of livestock with the regular flow of supplies from different source areas.
    • With the depletion of their fodder stocks, most agropastoral households will continue selling off animals through the month of August to thin their livestock herds. With the border closures, there is a steadily growing flow of domestic trade. There will be a limited volume of cattle exports to Nigeria on account of the problems with Boko Haram in that country. There are still regular exports of sheep and camels to Libya, with large numbers of animals passing through the northern Borkou Ennedi Tibesti area. There will be a continued flow of informal exports to Sudan.
    • There will be a growing demand for livestock between September and December for the Feast of Tabaski and the year-end holiday season. There will be a higher than usual demand for the celebration of Tabaski in September, mainly for sheep. After September, there will be a more or less normal growth in demand, driven by preparations for the year-end holiday season.
    • Livestock prices could start to fall with the last purchases of animals for Ramadan and may stay relatively low through August/September, while the physical condition of animals gradually improves with the growing supply of pasture. Movements in prices will follow normal seasonal trends through December, though there will be an atypical surge in prices in September during the celebration of Tabaski. Terms of trade for livestock/cereals will stay in favor of pastoralists in most areas.
    Most likely food security outcomes

    July through September:

    The situation for households in the southern part of the country has improved since the middle of July with the first harvests of early-maturing crops, as is oftentimes the case in a typical year. On the whole, poor farming households across the country will continue to meet their food needs through market purchase with income from farm labor, petty trading, and other normal activities in their particular livelihood zone.

    Livestock prices for pastoralists, particularly for small ruminants, will stay below normal through August due to the poor physical condition of their animals and the continued border closures. The new pasture growth as of August/September and the physical recovery of livestock will improve pastoral incomes and milk supplies. While households in most parts of the country will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity, those in certain localized areas such as Bahr El Gazal, Lac, Sila, Kanem, and Guera will continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity, with their low food stocks and incomes making it more difficult for them to meet their nonfood needs.

    October through December:

    The main harvest beginning in October will further improve the staple food access of farming and agropastoral households. Food security conditions will be stable throughout the harvest season, even in eastern areas of the country expecting a possible shortfall in crop production due to the projected poor distribution of rainfall in these areas. Though it may be rather limited, their crop production will suffice to get them through at least the month of December. The improvement in the physical condition of their animals and heightened demand for livestock for the celebration of Tabaski and the year-end holiday season will help give pastoral households market access for the purchasing of food supplies. In general, most households across the country will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, though conditions in the Lake Chad area will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) with the continuing waves of population displacements in that area, driven by the conflict with Boko Haram.

     

    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.

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Current food security outcomes, July 2015

    Figure 2

    Current food security outcomes, July 2015

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1

    Figure 3

    Figure 1. Cumulative rainfall anomalies (ARC2) for the period from June 22nd through July 21, 2015, in mm

    Source: NOAA/CPC

    Figure 2. Projected trends in cumulative rainfall in Ouaddaï based on  rainfall figures for 2015 to date

    Figure 4

    Figure 2

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 1

    Source:

    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.

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