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Price stability enables staple food access through September

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Guinea
  • July 2013
Price stability enables staple food access through September

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through September 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Most households will go through the lean season (July through August) without much difficulty, experiencing Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) between now and the October harvest, and on into the post-harvest period in December. 

    • The normal start of the growing season in all parts of the country, the availability of farm inputs, and favorable rainfall forecasts point to a good October harvest for the third consecutive year.

    • Though expected to increase slightly between July and August during the observance of Ramadan, the relatively stable prices of staple foods are facilitating food access for poor households. September green harvests will improve household food availability.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    There are no relevant anomalies at this time or expected during the outlook period.


    Projected Outlook through September 2013

    Land preparation, in progress since March, is nearly completed and the growing season is progressing normally, spurred by favorable rainfall since May. As of mid- July, the planting of rice, maize, cassava, and fonio crops in the East and Southwest was nearly completed and widespread planting activities were reported in the rest of the country. Planting efforts in the West and the North will continue through the end of July and, in some cases, into the beginning of August. In June, rainfall levels along the coast and in the central reaches of the country were slightly higher than last year and above-average, but have not yet caused any flooding, as water levels for the first two weeks of July were on par with the average. Cumulative seasonal rainfall totals since April are indicative of good soil moisture conditions for crop growth and development, notwithstanding the slight rainfall deficit reported in the country’s forest zone (Figure 2).

    Climatological forecasts produced by the National Weather Service and regional forecasting centers (CILSS and ACMAD) in conjunction with international forecasting centers are showing normal to above-normal rainfall activity in Guinea, particularly in Upper and Middle Guinea. These favorable rainfall outlooks and the measures taken by the government to help provide farmers with access to necessary inputs point to good crop growth and development,  leading to a likely  good harvest for a third consecutive year. More precise harvest forecasts will be developed later in the season based on data from ongoing surveys of farmer planting objectives and the size of cropped areas. There is a risk of flooding between August and October, but the impact on crops will be contained to localized areas and should not significantly affect expected good harvests.

    Major markets across the country are still well-stocked with staple cereals by traders, particularly with locally grown and imported rice, with the latter tending to dominate market supplies as the lean season gets underway. Household stocks of locally grown rice, the staple food of choice for Guinean households, are low, if not altogether depleted, at this time of year, but are more or less on par with the norm. June prices for imported rice, subsidized by the government for the past two years, ranged from 4000 to 5000 GNF, compared with 3500-4000 GNF back in January.  June prices for locally grown dried rice ranged from 5500 to 6900 GNF, compared with 4200 to 6000 GNF in January, typical for this time of year. Prices for both types of rice rose by 15-20 percent between January and June of this year in response to a growing household demand with the approach of the lean season beginning in July and running through mid-September, but are unchanged from last year and down by 15-30 percent from July 2011. This price stability is helping to facilitate staple food access for poor households with their earnings from the sale of poultry, livestock, and forest products, farm labor, and small-scale trading activities. 

    Staple food prices (rice and maize) will edge slightly upwards during Ramadan under pressure from heavy household consumer demand, but should not be a major impediment to household food access.

    With staple food prices remaining relatively stable, most households will go through the lean season between July and August with greater ease than usual. The pursuit of economic activities is sustaining normal livelihoods for this time of year. Early harvests of maize and fonio crops at the beginning of September will improve food availability for households currently experiencing Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1).  Food insecurity will remain at minimal levels between now and the October harvest, which will help facilitate the normal replenishment of household food stocks, and on into December/January. Food access will be facilitated by on-farm production or low prices at harvest time.

    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 June 30, 2013 compared with the 2008-2

    Figure 2

    Estimated cumulative seasonal rainfall anomalies for the period from April 1st through June 30, 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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