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Continuing conflict limits participation in main season activities

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Nigeria
  • May 2015
Continuing conflict limits participation in main season activities

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through September 2015
  • Key Messages
    • As conflict in the northeast continues, participation in land preparation activities in anticipation of the rainy season is very limited compared to normal. Population displacements to urban areas also continue. Additionally, market functioning remains significantly disrupted in the Lake Chad region.

    • Between July and September, areas of southern Yobe, central and northern Borno, northern Adamawa, as well as the IDP settlement area of greater Maiduguri are expected to experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity. Households in these areas who have been worst affected by conflict face reduced market access and limited participation in their livelihoods.

    • Boko Haram conflict will also contribute to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food security outcomes throughout the rest of Yobe, Borno, and Adamawa between May and September. Household food availability and access will become further reduced during this last six months of the consumption year for poor households directly and indirectly impacted by conflict.

    Current Situation

    Civil insecurity: Reports from field informants and statements from the Nigerian military indicate the multinational military operations against Boko Haram insurgents continue to intensify. Insurgents do continue, though, to undertake sporadic attacks throughout the northeast. FEWS NET field informants have reported that some IDPs in southern Borno (Biu) and northern Adamawa (Yola) have started returning to their home communities in preparation for the coming growing season. The rate of return varies depending on the IDPs’ perception of the security situation. Field informants note that in relatively safer areas, such as Damboa in Borno State, a large number of IDPs have begun to return home. In other areas, however, such as Michika and Madagali local governments (in Adamawa State) and Askira-Uba, Chibok and Hawul local governments (in Borno State), the number of IDPs returning is very low.

    Seasonal progress: Most dry season activities have ended or are coming to an end. Farming households in central and northern regions of the country are engaged in land clearing activities in preparation for the upcoming main season rains. In the south of the country, the onset of the season began rather typically in March/April, but was met with intermittent dryness. As southern regions of Nigeria receive a relatively long rainy season with high accumulation, it is not yet expected that the early seasonal dryness seen thus far will have a significant impact on production. Yam planting is ongoing in most areas in the south, while much of the maize and cassava cropping is already established.

    Throughout much of the country, poor households are engaged in seasonal agricultural wage labor opportunities. So far this season, these households are earning typical levels of income.

    In northeastern Nigeria, however, field reports from Mubi, Biu, Damboa, Michika, Maidagali, Askira-Uba, Hawul and Chibok indicate that land preparation activities are significantly down compared to average. The level of participation in land preparation varies by area. In addition to conflict keeping households from their fields, the limited preparation for the coming season is also impacted by IDPs not returning home to cultivate.

    Figure 1. Northeast Nigeria market activity –
    week of May 11, 2015

    Market and household stocks: Reports from FEWS NET market monitors and field informants generally indicate a seasonal reduction in market and household stocks for staple foods on most markets monitored. These typical seasonal trends are reported on markets in both deficit and surplus production areas. Trader stocks for major cereals (millet, maize and sorghum) are, however, relatively higher on Dawanau market in Kano. This is attributable to both low domestic and cross border demand (mainly from Niger) for the staples.

    In northeast Nigeria, the combined impacts of poor main and dry season harvests, high transaction costs and trader fears continue to lead to below average market and household food stocks in the northeast region.

    Food prices: There is a slight upward trend in prices for food commodities on markets in both surplus and deficit producing areas across Nigeria. This typical seasonal trend is the result of narrowing market supply and relatively higher market demand as the end of the consumption year approaches. The fuel scarcity across the country has increased the informal price of petrol to about NGN200 - NGN250/liter as against the official rate of NGN87/liter. High fuel price are expected to be contributing to somewhat of an increase in transportation costs, particularly from surplus to deficit producing areas.

    Updated Assumptions

    The current situation is in line with the assumptions used to develop FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for April to September 2015. A full discussion of the scenario is available in the April to September 2015 Food Security Outlook.

    Projected Outlook through September 2015

    Intense military operations in the northeast are expected to continue, particularly in and around the Sambisa forest, but as well in border regions along Niger, Cameroon and Chad. This will likely contribute to continuing displacement of households to Maiduguri and other urban centers in the northeast. Market functioning will remain limited in the northeast as conflict continues to affect market activity. Households are also unable to participate in their typical livelihoods, further contributing to limited food access. Between May and September, much of Borno State, eastern Yobe State, and northern Adamawa State will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). At the end of the consumption year, however, resident households in areas worst affected by conflict and many IDPs in Maiduguri will begin to face larger food consumption gaps with higher risk for very high levels of malnutrition and elevated mortality. As such, southern Yobe, central and northern areas of Borno, northern Adamawa as well as the IDP settlement area in greater Maiduguri will be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    Throughout the rest of Nigeria, cultivation activities continue typically for the main agricultural season, which ends with harvests beginning around September. Additionally, no significant market anomalies are expected between now and September. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is expected for most of Nigeria between May and September.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 9


    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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