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All parts of the country continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Guinea
  • August 2016
All parts of the country continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook Through January 2017
  • Key Messages
    • The 2016/2017 growing season is progressing normally. Planting for most crops is nearly completed in coastal and dry plain areas. Ongoing localized harvests of maize and peanut crops are easing the severity of the lean season (between June and the beginning of September) for poor households. The upcoming rice harvests in September will further improve the food security situation between now and the main harvest season in October.

    • There are still average to large supplies on the markets in spite of the seasonal contraction in supplies. Near-average food prices and ongoing harvests are helping to give most households average food access on local markets. This food access and the availability of fresh lean season crops will keep food insecurity at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcome levels through at least January with the upcoming harvests in September and October.

    • The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) remains under control. There have been no reports of any new cases of the disease since March 2016. The government and its partners are currently providing Ebola victims with farm input assistance to promote their socioeconomic reintegration.

    Current Situation

    Rainfall: The 2016/2017 rainy season is progressing normally. The heavy rains at the end of July and the beginning of August triggered early floods in localized downstream areas such as Siguiri along the Niger River and a number of its tributaries (Milo, Tinkisso, Sankaranin, and Niandan), where large plain areas were completely inundated, interrupting efforts by many households to work their fields. However, these floods lasted for no more than a week. By August 18, 2016, the floodwaters had already receded from these plain areas until the next flood season between the end of August and the beginning of December 2016.

    Farming conditions: As of the beginning of August 2016, crops were, in general, making normal progress. Rice crops are in different stages of growth and development (direct seeding, maintenance, height growth, and heading stages in plain and lowland areas without irrigation systems). The first harvests are expected in early September 2016. As usual, there are ongoing harvests of maize, fonio, cowpeas, and cassava, as well as off-season peanut crops in lowland areas, which are providing food and income for local farmers and easing the severity of the current lean season for these households. Farming activities in all parts of the country are proceeding normally and there is an average to large availability of fertilizer and plant health products across the country.

    Household food stocks: There are growing reports of the usual depletion of food stocks in certain areas of the country. As of August 2016, most farmers across the country had seasonally low stocks of crops. 

    Pastoral conditions: Pastoral conditions are marked by lush pastures and good animal watering holes in all parts of the country. Livestock across the country (particularly cattle, goats, and sheep) are in good physical condition, which is helping to create attractive prices for pastoralists and traders. Animal health conditions remain stable.

    Farm labor: The available supply of farm labor at the start-of-season will tighten as the rainy season continues. Average earnings from farm labor range from 15,000 to 30,000 FG/day, depending on the prefecture. The pursuit of more lucrative gold mining activities during the current growing season will reduce the availability of farm labor, negatively affecting cropping rates and the progress of crop maintenance work in certain areas. 

    Markets and prices: There are average to large market supplies of staple foodstuffs (rice, maize, and fresh and dried cassava) in all parts of the country. The normal resumption in crop trade between Guinea and its neighbors since the end of the Ebola outbreak in 2015 is helping to facilitate these good market supplies.

    In general, prices for rice, the main cereal consumed by Guinean households, are stable in spite of a few reports of seasonal rises in prices since June. There are plentiful supplies of imported rice in all warehouses accessible to most households, maintaining their near-average prices on domestic markets for the last five years. July prices for rice on the Keouane and Siguiri markets ranged from 5000 to 6000 FG/kg for local varieties and from 4000 to 5000 FG/kg for imported white rice and 5000 to 5500 FG/kg for imported parboiled rice (with no broken grains).

    Situation of Ebola survivors and orphans: Ebola has been eliminated from all parts of the country and the monitoring commission has taken necessary measures to contain any new outbreaks and limit their socioeconomic impact on affected populations. Survivors and orphans from previous outbreaks are continuing to receive assistance in the form of rice seeds to help them successfully rebuild their livelihoods.

    Current food security situation: In spite of the seasonal dwindling of on-farm food stocks during the current lean season, the current food security situation in all parts of the country is, on the whole, stable. Crop accessibility in general and imported rice in particular and the early harvests by certain households are enabling poor populations to meet their food needs, keeping food insecurity at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels.

    Updated Assumptions

    The assumptions used by FEWS NET in establishing the most likely food security scenario for June 2016 through January 2017 have not changed.

    Projected Outlook Through January 2017

    In spite of the seasonal depletion of food stocks during the current lean season, the food security situation of poor households is expected to improve with the availability of fresh maize crops in most prefectures since the end of July and of cassava crops in early August, providing households with both food and income. The average availability of these crops and the near-average price levels will maintain acute food insecurity at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels in all parts of the country between now and the main harvest season in October 2016.

    The upcoming harvests beginning in October and the ensuing drop in food prices will further improve market access of Guinean households and keep acute food insecurity at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels at least through January 2017.

    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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