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Good food availability helps bolster household food access

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Mali
  • December 2016
Good food availability helps bolster household food access

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  • Key Messages
  • CURRENT SITUATION
  • UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2017
  • Key Messages
    • The 11 percent increase in crop production from 2015/2016 putting it 35 percent above the five-year average is helping to  facilitate household cereal availability and adequate market supplies at average to below-average prices. Most households across the country will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between now and May 2017.

    • Poor flood-stricken households affected by the heavy downpours and/or runoff from rivers in Djenné, Gourma Rharous, Bourem, Gao, San, Bla, Sikasso, and Ségou departments will be unable to meet their food and nonfood needs without resorting to atypical coping strategies involving, for example, migration, wage labor, and borrowing. Accordingly, these households will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security conditions as of March 2017.

    • The faltering demand for livestock from Algerian buyers with the current outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Niger and from buyers in Nigeria due to the devaluation of the Naïra is negatively affecting pastoral incomes in the Kidal and Ménaka regions. This decline in pastoral income will limit the market access of pastoral households by weakening their purchasing power.


    CURRENT SITUATION

    Growing season:

    The main growing season activities involve the harvesting and threshing of cereal crops. Market gardening activities have also started up, with a good harvest outlook for all parts of the country.

    National cereal production for 2016/2017 is up from last year by 11 percent and approximately 35 percent above the five-year average (Source: CPS/SDR). However, there are reports of scattered pockets of localized production deficits (in Djenné, Bourem, Rharous, San, Bla, Mopti, and the Western Sahel) as a result of the earlier than usual end of the rains, flooding problems, and attacks by crop predators. According to the Civil Defense Agency (DGPC), approximately 18,000 people have been affected by flood damage, particularly in parts of Djenné, Bourem, Rharous, San, Bla, and Mopti departments along the Niger River and Sikasso and Ségou departments, where households are producing fewer than usual crops. The larger volume of national cereal production is helping to facilitate cereal availability at the household level and on markets around the country.

    The situation in pastoral areas is marked by good pastoral conditions, with pastures in good shape and good water levels in year-round watering holes. On the whole, livestock are in average physical condition and there are average levels of animal production. There are normal herd movements and, in general, animal health conditions are relatively stable.

    Markets and prices:

    Business on cereal markets is picking up with the growing stocks of fresh crops from ongoing harvests, which is helping to ensure adequate market supplies. There is a seasonal lull in demand at this time of year with the availability of home-grown crops reducing market dependence, particularly in crop-producing areas. Cereal prices decreasing, which is in line with normal seasonal trends. As of the end of November, prices for cereals on most tracked markets were down or unchanged from the previous month with the growing supply of cereal crops and flagging consumer demand from households on local markets. In general, prices are under the five-year average, particularly in the case of millet prices in Koulikoro (-9 percent), Ségou (-8 percent), Mopti (-5 percent), and Niafunké (-19 percent). However, prices in Gao and Bourem are above the five-year average by 6 percent and 21 percent, respectively. The higher price of millet in Bourem and Gao is negatively affecting the access of poor households to this foodstuff.

    Livestock markets are well-stocked with animals. However, demand is down in the northern part of the country due to the slowdown in exports to Algeria with the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever and the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira, which is hurting pastoral incomes. December prices for goats are more or less unchanged from the previous month and below the five-year average by 26 percent in Gao, 29 percent in Bourem, and 21 percent in Ménaka. As a result, terms of trade for goats/millet have fallen by approximately 30 percent on most markets. The lower price of livestock and decline in terms of trade are negatively affecting the market access of pastoral households.

    Population movements and security issues:

    An examination of population movements shows a steady flow of IDPs and refugees returning to their home areas. According to the report by the Commission on Population Movements (CMP), there are currently 36,690 internally displaced persons, compared with 39,182 as of the end of July 2016, with the relative improvement in the security situation, though isolated attacks continue to interfere with the free movement of people and goods from time to time. These IDPs and returnees are in need of food assistance and livelihood recovery programs. 

     

     


    UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS

    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2017

    The average to good levels of crop production across the country are ensuring food availability for households and on local markets. The resulting drop in prices is helping to facilitate household food access with earnings from normal wage labor and off-farm activities. Accordingly, most households across the country will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between December 2016 and May 2017.

    Flood-stricken households in riverine areas of the Gao and Timbuktu regions and the Niger River Delta area of the Mopti region affected by the heavy downpours and earlier than usual runoff from the river in these areas will prematurely deplete their food stocks by February/March instead of in March/April, as is normally the case. This will prolong their market dependence. They will be unable to meet their food needs without resorting to atypical coping strategies involving cash and in-kind borrowing, ramped-up wage labor, cutbacks in nonfood spending, and recourse to less expensive foods. Consequently, they will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security conditions as of March 2017.

    The lower demand for livestock from Algerian buyers with the current outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Niger and the slowdown in livestock exports to Nigeria through Niger due to the devaluation of the Naïra are negatively affecting pastoral incomes in the Kidal and Ménaka regions. This decline in pastoral income will limit the market access of pastoral households by weakening their purchasing power.

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an 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 over the next six months. Learn more here.

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