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Regular food supplies from the ongoing harvests contributing to Minimal food insecurity

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Guinea
  • October 2015
Regular food supplies from the ongoing harvests contributing to Minimal food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through March 2016
  • Key Messages
    • According to the October 21st World Health Organization’s Ebola Situation Report, there were a total of three new confirmed cases of Ebola during the last 21 days in Forécariah prefecture and in Conakry. The number of new Ebola cases will continue to decline between now and March 2015, spurring the renewal of economic activity.

    • Initially localized harvests of rice, maize, sorghum, groundnuts, and cowpeas in late September gave way to widespread harvests across the country in October. This is generating regular market supplies and is rebuilding normal food stocks levels. Stable prices are also currently ensuring easy food access for poor non-farming households.

    • In general, households in all parts of the country are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity. Regular imports of rice (the most popular food source), good harvest prospects, and normal livelihood strategies should help maintain food insecurity at this level through March 2015.

    • However, political tensions following the presidential elections in early October could lead to civil protests and temporarily shut down markets and other social services in localized areas. Nevertheless, it should not significantly affect the operation of local markets or disrupt domestic trade flows. Households will continue to have normal and regular food access.


    Projected Outlook Through March 2016

    Given the normal progression of average to above-average harvests in October, food availability is continuously expanding and food consumption is improving in terms of quantity and quality in most areas of the country. Households are currently rebuilding their food stocks, while labor opportunities for harvesting activities and land preparations for off-season crops are bolstering their income sources. In addition, the expansion of harvesting activities over the coming months will steadily reduce market dependence of poor households and allow them to meet their nonfood expenses.

    These conditions also mark the end of the lean season (July through September) and suggest promising outlooks until March 2015 for market supplies and the normal rebuilding of trader inventories. In general, prices were stable or declined slightly between August and September because of a good carry-over stock levels from the last season. The sole exception was a small eight percent rise in the price of locally grown rice between August and September in Labé, driven by seasonally normal strong demand coming out of the lean season. Prices are also stable compared with September 2014 levels. These factors will help improve food access for poor households during the October 2015 to March 2016 outlook period.

    Sociopolitical demonstrations in the weeks ahead over the results of the presidential elections in October could temporarily disrupt local markets. However, this should not restrict supplies or undermine the food access of poor households. In addition, certain farmers and traders will continue to suffer income losses from crop sales as cross-border trade flows remain below-average due to persisting fears of venturing into Ebola-affected areas and government restrictions limiting Guinean exports of certain crops, such as potatoes to Senegal.

    In general, favorable food security conditions prevail across the country considering the good prospects for average to above-average harvests and the start of seasonal economic activities such as crop sales on local markets, the collecting of straw for sale, and the creation of labor opportunities for poor households. This will improve household income and food access. In addition, markets will continue to be well-stocked with crops, and prices will stabilize and possibly even fall until the end of the harvest season in December 2015 in line with normal seasonal trends. Moreover, with the good water levels of seasonal wetlands and other water sources, there will be a normal growing season for off-season crops between November and April. Accordingly, most households in all areas of the country will be able to meet their food and nonfood needs without resorting to negative coping strategies and, thus, will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through March 2016.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Projected food security outcomes for October through December 2015

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Projected food security outcomes for October through December 2015

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2. Projected food security outcomes for January through March 2016

    Figure 3

    Figure 2. Projected food security outcomes for January through March 2016

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 3.  Price of locally grown rice in Nzérékoré (GNF/kg)

    Figure 4

    Figure 3. Price of locally grown rice in Nzérékoré (GNF/kg)

    Source: SIPAG

    Figure 1

    Source:

    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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