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A normal lean season is expected in refugee areas despite localized rice deficits

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Liberia
  • March 2014
A normal lean season is expected in refugee areas despite localized rice deficits

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through June 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Despite a decrease in national rice production of about 7 percent compared to the five-year average, household rice stocks are average, except in southeastern counties where most of the decreases in production occurred. However, the lean season is expected to be normal in these areas since households will be able to meet their food needs normally through purchase of imported rice and the consumption of local products such as cassava and plantains.
    • Households are able to meet their essential food and non-food needs, thanks to normal levels and sources of food and income, in addition to stable imported rice prices on most markets. Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is likely be maintained through at least June 2014.





    No current or projected anomalies of concern are expected in Liberia


    Projected outlook through June 2014

    Despite rice production shortfalls in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, River Gee, and Grand Kru counties that led to 7 percent below average national production, household food stocks are generally average this year. Poor households in these counties are able to meet their food needs through purchase of imported rice and from above-average production of their own production of local products such as cassava and plantain. However, because of the start of the lean season in April in the southeast, households will deplete their food stocks.  Similar to a normal year, this will lead them to purchase imported rice on markets and will increase the consumption of cassava from their own production.

    Farming activities including cassava and vegetable planting, land preparation for rice production and cassava harvesting are ongoing and occurring on time. These activities are providing normal incomes to households and improving availability of staple foods. The sale of palm oil supported by local demand and for export to neighboring countries such as Guinea is normal and is providing households with average incomes, improving their access to food. Other typical livelihood activities, such as hunting/trapping and fishing, charcoal and casual labor work on rubber plantations, are also providing households with normal levels of food and income.

    According to CIRAD, initial projections for global ending stocks of rice in 2014 indicate a further increase to 179 million MT against 175 million MT in 2013.This high level of rice stocks will contribute to a stability of rice prices internationally and on local markets in Liberia. Consequently, it is expected for market supply levels to be normal and food prices to remain within seasonal trends through at least June 2014.

    According to UNCHR, there are approximately 46,267 refugees currently in Liberia against 60,752 in March 2013. Voluntary return of these Ivorian refugees will likely continue in 2014 giving an improvement in security conditions in western and southern Cote d'Ivoire. However, the majority of refugees in Liberia are living in local communities and are active in a variety of livelihood activities, including crop production, petty trade, casual labor, skilled work, and hunting. Those residing in camps are less able to participate in these types of activities and continue to rely partially on humanitarian assistance.

    Fairly average local rice stocks at the household level, above-average cassava production and normal income-generating activities will enable households to meet essential food and non-food needs. Despite rice production deficits in some southern counties such as Grand Geddeh, River Gee, Maryland, Gran Kru and Nimba, food security conditions will remain normal until next harvest in the absence of a major agro-climatic shock that could impact basic food prices. Households are expected to be food secure (IPC Phase 1) through at least June 2014.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year


    Figure 2


    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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