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Current Prospects are Favorable for Average to Good Harvests across the Sahel

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • September 2015
Current Prospects are Favorable for Average to Good Harvests across the Sahel

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The regularity of rainfall since mid-July in the Sudanian and Sahelian zones have reabsorbed most early deficits observed due to a delayed start of season. As a result, crops and pasture development is generally satisfactory at this time. However, heavy rainfall in August and September resulted in flooding in localized areas.

    • Household food insecurity in September has progressively improved with the end of the lean season in the Guinean zone and early harvests in parts of the Sahel. The most recent PREGEC meeting estimated 2015/16 cereal production levels in the Sahel and West Africa to be approximately 54 to 64 million tons, which represents a 3 percent decline and 11 percent increase, respectively, compared to the five year average.

    • Normal seasonal progress has provided favorable conditions for cereal market functioning, with prices general stable, or decreasing in localized areas, compared to average. With higher livestock demand caused by the recent Tabaski celebrations, animal prices are increasing on major regional markets, procuring substantial household incomes and above-average terms of trade for pastoralists who, in many areas, were hard hit by the delayed regeneration of rangelands this year.

    • Due to the favorable evolution of key food security drivers, many zones that were classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad during the peak of the lean season are currently improving to lower levels of food insecurity for the October to December 2015 period.

    • However, households in northeastern Nigeria and neighboring areas of Niger continue to live in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity due to the effects of the Boko Haram conflict. This is the same for Central African Republic with the resurgence of armed conflict in Bangui and along supply routes. Consequently, these conflict areas will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between October and December 2015, even after the main harvests.

    • In the Ebola-affected countries, food insecurity is also improving in September. However, weak household purchasing power is maintaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in certain zones. With the upcoming harvests, Guinea and Liberia will decline into Minimal (IPC Phase 1) between October and December, while certain areas of Sierra Leone will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

      For more detailed analysis, see the Food Security Outlook for July to December 2015.


    Figure 1


    This Key Message Update provides a high-level 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. Learn more here.

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