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Normal progression of the growing season spurs destocking activities by farmers

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Guinea
  • July 2015
Normal progression of the growing season spurs destocking activities by farmers

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2015
  • Key Messages
    • The normal progression of the growing season and the provision of farm inputs by the government are, in general, creating favorable conditions for crop growth and development and bodes well for a good October harvest. In addition, ongoing agricultural activities are providing income-generating opportunities for poor households through farm labor.

    • With ongoing relief efforts and the normal progression of the growing season encouraging farmers to unload last year’s crops, nearly all reference markets in Guinea are still well-stocked with foodstuffs and July prices were relatively stable. However, most households will continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity through September 2015 on account of the residual effects of the Ebola outbreak on household income levels.

    • The October harvest will improve food availability for poor households, as well as provide them with seasonal income-earning opportunities from farm labor. As a result, the currently observed Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes will improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) starting in October and continuing through at least December 2015.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • Ebola epidemic
    • Below-average incomes from certain sources such as petty trade, craft trades, hunting, mine work, and sales of livestock and poultry
    • Atypical slowdown in cross-border trade due to Ebola-related fears
    • Steady decline in the number of new Ebola cases compared with previous weeks throughout the outlook period
    • Below-average incomes will continue to limit food access for poor households

    Projected Outlook through December 2015

    According to the July 15th World Health Organization Ebola Situation Report, there have been a total of 43 new confirmed cases of Ebola during the past 21 days in Forécariah, Dubréka, Boké, Conakry, Fria, and Kindia prefectures. The government is currently imposing quarantine measures in certain villages and districts within these prefectures in an effort to stop the Ebola virus from spreading. However, there are no ground reports of any deterioration in the food security situation as a result of these quarantine measures. Moreover, no major surges in the number of new Ebola cases is expected between now and December 2015.

    Satellite estimates of cumulative rainfall (RFE) for the period of April 1st through July 10, 2015 range from 500 to 1200 mm in the south, 300 to 500 mm in most parts of the north-central and western reaches of the country, and 100 to 200 mm in the far north. Compared to average, these estimates indicate average to well-above-average rainfall levels across most parts of the country with small to moderate rainfall deficits in far northern areas (Figure 3). As a precaution against the potential consequences of these rainfall deficits, certain farmers in Gaoual prefecture have already applied to the government for a supply of short-cycled rice seeds. In general, the growing season is proceeding normally and is creating normal income-generating opportunities for poor households, enabling them to maintain their staple food access and meet their basic needs.

    There are signs that livestock trade in Guinea is starting to recover compared to previous months, driven by improvements in pastoral conditions with the good start of the rainy season and heightened local demand to meet needs during Ramadan. This is improving terms of trade for pastoralists and enabling them to earn extra income to maintain their staple food access. However, there is still a below-average volume of exports to normal destination countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Guinea Bissau on account of fears of contracting the Ebola virus, resulting in a loss of revenue compared with the pre-Ebola period.

    According to FEWS NET’s key informants, certain income sources, such as fishing, sales of charcoal and palm oil, and the gathering of wild plant products, are providing households with seasonal income which in turn are enabling them to maintain their food access. However, income levels from other sources, such as petty trade, craft trades, hunting, and mine work, are still below-average on account of reduced activities on local markets and weak household purchasing power. This pattern will continue through September, driven by an unfavorable economic climate and could continue to limit food access for affected households. However, the beginning of the October harvest should help revitalize most regular sources of income, such as cereal sales and petty trade, enabling households to improve their staple food access and meet their nonfood expenses without engaging in negative coping strategies.

    Cereal supplies on local markets are still seasonally normal with unrestricted rice imports from the international market bolstering existing supplies of locally grown cereals and other staple foodstuffs. In general, prices were stable or up slightly, by no more than 10 percent, between May and June, in line with normal seasonal trends. This price stability is helping to facilitate food access for poor and market-dependent households. However, there were reports of steep price hikes of over 40 percent for potatoes in Labé, fueled by the tightening of market supplies as farmers reduced production due to new restrictions at the Senegalese border on cross-border trade of this commodity. As a result, many farmers in this area are already transitioning from potato production to maize and groundnut production, according to local ground reports. However despite these changes, there has been little to no change in potato prices compared with the same time last year, with a small eight percent increase in prices in Kankan.

    Many households depleted their food stocks one to two months sooner than usual and have atypically weak household purchasing power on account of the effect of the Ebola outbreak on the local economy. As a result, affected households are presently cutting their essential nonfood spending and will continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity through at least September 2015. The impact of a small number of new reported Ebola cases is negligible and is not expected to destabilize food security conditions during this time period.

    The improvement in food availability with the October harvest will help facilitate food access for poor households. More specifically, the expected normalization of most livelihood strategies by this same time, including petty trade, craft trades, and mine work, will enable households to meet their basic food and nonfood needs. This, along with the normal rebuilding of food stocks, will enable most poor households to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity starting in October and continuing through at least the end of December 2015.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 2

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1  Projected food security outcomes for July through September 2015

    Figure 2

    Figure 1 Projected food security outcomes for July through September 2015

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2  Projected food security outcomes for October through December 2015

    Figure 3

    Figure 2 Projected food security outcomes for October through December 2015

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 3 Estimated cumulative rainfall (RFE)  anomalies for July 1 – 10, 2015 compared with the 2010/2014 average, in percent

    Figure 4

    Figure 3 Estimated cumulative rainfall (RFE) anomalies for July 1 – 10, 2015 compared with the 2010/2014 average, in percentage terms

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 5

    Source:

    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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