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Stable prices and the green harvest facilitate food access through December

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Guinea
  • August 2013
Stable prices and the green harvest facilitate food access through December

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Most households have emerged out of the lean season in July-August without much difficulty. Stable prices and green harvests are facilitating staple food access, enabling Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) through the harvest period in October and on into December/January. 

    • Heavy August rains caused some localized flooding, which damaged crops in some areas but should not jeopardize the expected good harvests and production at the national level.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    There are no relevant anomalies currently reported or expected during the remainder of the outlook period.


    Projected Outlook through December 2013

    Rainfall forecasts produced by the National Weather Service and regional forecasting centers (the CILSS and ACMAD) in conjunction with international forecasting centers show normal to above-normal rainfall activity in Guinea, particularly in Upper and Middle Guinea. These favorable rainfall projections and the measures taken by the government to help provide farmers with access to necessary farm inputs point to good crop growth and development, which could potentially lead to a good harvest for the third consecutive year.

    Good seasonal rainfall since May (Figure 2) helped to spur crop growth and development across the country. Cumulative rainfall totals as of mid August, ranging from 150 to 250 mm in most parts of the country, were above the five-year average, particularly along the coast and in the central, northern, and central-eastern reaches of the country. Heavy August rains flooded parts of Conakry and a number of other areas, including Kindia and Boffa. Government agencies are currently collecting information regarding any possible crop damage. Qualitative risk assessments indicate earlier than usual flooding in August, rather than in September, increasing the likelihood of more significant flood damage than usual, though without major threats to expected harvests.  

    Key markets are still well-stocked in staple cereals by traders, particularly locally grown and imported rice, with the latter dominating market supplies during the lean season. Household stocks of locally grown rice, the staple food of choice for Guinean households, are depleted by this time of year, consistent with typical seasonal consumption trends. Ongoing harvests of peanuts, maize, and fonio are facilitating direct household access to these staple foods or to income from the sale of these crops on local markets.  August prices for imported rice, which have been subsidized by the government for the past two years, ranged from 4000 to 5000 GNF (unchanged compared to both June and July), compared with 3500-4000 GNF in January. August prices for locally grown dried rice ranged from 5500 to 6500 GNF, compared with 4200 to 6000 GNF in January, reflecting typical trends for this time of year. Prices for both types of rice increased seasonably by 15 to 20 percent between January and August of this year in response to growing household demand during the lean season, but are unchanged from last year and 15 to 30 percent below 2011 prices. This price stability is facilitating staple food access among  poor households who are earning seasonal income from the sale of poultry, livestock, forest products, farm labor, and small-scale trading activities.   

    Staple food prices (local rice and maize) will begin decrease marginally in September/October, driven by better household food availability and reduced household dependence on market purchases.

    With the little if any change in staple food prices (rice prices in particular) for the last two years, the 2013 lean season ending in August was less difficult than usual for most poor households. Ongoing harvests of early maize, peanut, and fonio crops are improving staple food access. Seasonal livelihoods activities (small-scale trading, wage labor, sales of livestock/poultry, and harvesting activities) are generating substantial amounts of income compared to lean season earnings. Increasing harvests of green crops in September will further improve food availability for households who are currently in Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1). Food insecurity will remain minimal through the October harvests, allowing for the normal rebuilding of household food stocks, and on into December/January. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Estimated cumulative seasonal rainfall anomalies for the period from April 1st through August 20, 2013 compared with the 2008

    Figure 2

    Estimated cumulative seasonal rainfall anomalies for the period from April 1st through August 20, 2013 compared with the 2008-2012 average

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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