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Green harvest of major crops improves households’ access to basic food

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Liberia
  • September 2013
Green harvest of major crops improves households’ access to basic food

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Early harvests of rice and other crops started in August in the southeast counties and are improving households access to basic food needs. Crops sales are improving household income. 

    • With the ongoing green harvests and favorable main season harvest prospects, the majority of households are expected to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through at least December 2013.

    • Ivorian refugees living within refugee camps will remain partially dependent on food assistance through the remainder of the outlook period (September – December), while those living within Liberia will continue to be active in income-generating activities and/or crop production. 

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Southeast

    • 58,000 Ivorian refugees are living within Liberia. Of this refugee population, approximately 21,000 are residing in camps and remain partially dependent on food assistance as they have less access to land.
    • The total accumulated rainfall in the past thirty days as of September 20 indicates a slightly below rainfall in the center and south parts of the country with likely less impact on crop development.
    • The majority of refugees will continue to improve their living conditions by participating in cropping and/or income-generating activities. However, those in camps will continue to partially rely on food assistance.
    • Moderate rainfall is expected across the country through the third week of September maintaining relative average humidity conditions.

    Projected Outlook through December 2013

    The cumulative rainfall between early April and September 10th has been near normal (Figure 2). The accumulated rainfall in the past thirty days as of September 20 has been slightly below average (2001-2009). However soil moisture remained adequate to support crop development. Also, given current conditions and a seasonal forecast by NOAA predicting relatively normal rainfall levels for the remainder of the season, a near average harvest is expected between September and December.

    In general, the lean season is ongoing for most households in most areas. The lean season will end in early October with the early new harvest. However, food access is already improving in southeastern countries, where harvesting of cowpeas, plantains, cassava, vegetables, groundnut and eddoe are ongoing.

    Household income levels from crop sales are expected to be average to slightly above-average over the coming months due to the favorable harvest prospects. Other typical livelihood activities at this time of the year include petty trade and labor activities related to the rubber and mining sectors.

    Market supplies of imported rice are generally normal across regional markets although prices have remained 7-24 percent below July 2012 levels. This price stability, coupled with average to slightly above-average household incomes, will facilitate household food access.

    According to the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) and UNHCR, the Ivorian refugee population — approximately 58,700 people as of August, with 20,458 living within camps– remains stable compared to September 2012 (58,965), despite some voluntary repatriation. The process of decommissioning the refugee camps and closing them by December 2013 is ongoing.

    The majority of Ivorian refugees, who are residing outside of camps and within local communities, will continue to be active in crop production, as well as other income-generating activities such as petty trade, casual labor, skilled work, mining, and hunting. However, refugees residing in camps will, in general, continue to rely partially on food assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP) through the upcoming months as their access to sufficient livelihood remains limited.

    Stable imported rice prices, normal cash income levels, and a near average 2013 harvest starting in September will enable poor households to meet their essential food and non-food needs through the coming months without difficulties. As a result, poor households throughout the country are expected to face Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) during the entire outlook period (September to December 2013). 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly, April 1 – September 20, 2013

    Figure 2

    Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly, April 1 – September 20, 2013

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    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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