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Low precipitation in the pastoral area prolongs the lean period for poor pastoralist households

  • Key Message Update
  • Niger
  • July 2023
Low precipitation in the pastoral area prolongs the lean period for poor pastoralist households

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Food insecurity is still observed in the country with the highest levels of acute food insecurity Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The acute food insecurity Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are concentrated in the Tillabéry and Tahoua regions as well as in Diffa and Maradi regions, where the persistence of terrorist attacks has not allowed for cereal stocks and other livelihood activities in general and to prevent the distribution of food assistance in the Tillabery and Tahoua regions. Acute food insecurity Stressed (IPC Phase 2) is observed in all livelihood zones but is concentrated in pastoral areas where prolongation of the lean period due to delayed rainy season installation increases and deprives poor households of essential non-food spending.

    • The rainy season continues with precipitation that allowed planting in 90 percent of the country’s agricultural villages in the first decade of July, compared to 80 percent in 2022 in the same period (Ministry of Agriculture). However, the poor distribution of rainfall time and space has resulted in water stress that has damaged and even caused the loss of young seedlings locally in agricultural and agropastoral areas. In the pastoral area, low rainfall levels have prevented the emergence of herbaceous pastures and the filling of water points. In addition, animals are forced to leave these favorable southern areas and start unusual but limited movements within the country due to civil insecurity. Crop residues are the main sources of feed for livestock, but market prices are far above average and become inaccessible to poor households. The body condition of livestock is poor in most areas where the terms of trade are below the five-year average.

    • The availability of dry cereals is generally assured in most markets by large producers, presumably in advance of the field work of the current agricultural season. However, the supply level remains below the five-year average for all these cereals despite the government’s launch of cereal sales operations at moderate prices. Average dry cereal prices are 14 percent higher for maize and 11 percent higher for millet and sorghum, respectively, compared with the average for the last five years. In the Tahoua, Tillabery, and Zinder regions, these increases reached 15 and 25 percent, respectively, due to the disruptions of food flows from Burkina Faso and Mali, road harassment, and increased transportation costs, particularly in Nigeria, following the end of the fuel subsidy.

    Recommended Citation: FEWS NET. Niger Key Messages July 2023: Low precipitation in the pastoral areas prolongs the lean period for poor pastoralist households. 2023

    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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