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The rainy season begins normally, although planting is atypically low due to conflict in some areas

  • Key Message Update
  • Nigeria
  • May 2022
The rainy season begins normally, although planting is atypically low due to conflict in some areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Conflict in the Northeast remains calm in May, with conflict events only reported in localized areas. Although, household engagement in livelihood activities are disrupted, and displacement continues. The dry season harvest is ongoing, estimated to be below average in the northeast due to low access to land and agricultural inputs and damage from elephants, particularly in Gamboru, Dikwa, and Kala Balge LGAs. Some households are consuming from the dry season harvest and will continue to do so through the lean season; however, most households have exhausted own produced food stocks and are mainly market reliant. Land preparation and planting activities are underway for the main rainy season at above average and 2021 levels. Access to land has increased associated with the decline in conflict and households returning to their areas of origin; however, land access per household remains similar to last year. Millet and groundnut planting is ongoing in localized areas of Yobe State and some adjacent areas due to ongoing rainfall. 

    • Despite the availability of some food from the dry season harvest, many households in the northeast face difficulty accessing food due to low purchasing power and atypically high food prices. Millet prices in Maiduguri are over 70 percent higher than the five-year average. Higher levels of humanitarian assistance continue to decline in the Northeast, with nearly 1.2 million people receiving aid, seven percent lower than in February. The humanitarian assistance is predominately distributed to IDP camps, where Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are ongoing. In the rest of the Northeast Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely to continue through at least September.  

    • Banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling activities remain at high levels across the Northwest and Northcentral areas of Nigeria. Recently, bandits have killed several farmers during land clearing activities in Zamfara state, as well as similar attacks in neighboring Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, and Kaduna states. Many farmers are fearful of starting land preparation and planting activities. Additionally, lower than average income and high agricultural input prices restrict planting levels. This is driving down planting levels, with below-average area planted expected. 

    • Market and trade routes remain disrupted in most areas of the Northwest and Northcentral states, constraining the flow of goods and market supply. Zamfara state remains the epicenter of banditry. Staple prices remain atypically high, with millet prices nearly 14 percent and 53 percent higher than last year and the five-year average, respectively, in Kaura market. The Zamfara state government provided support of about 10 million NGN cash and 600 bags of rice to recently affected communities in May. Although this assistance is limited considering the level of conflict and population affected in the area. Most households are mainly dependent on markets for food as staple food prices remain atypically elevated, constraining access. Thus, worst conflict-affected households face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, with these outcomes likely persisting through at least September. 

    • Macroeconomic conditions remain poor as the supply of USD is limited on the formal market amidst high demand, driving a sustained lower value of the NGN. The NGN is exchanging at about five percent and 25 percent higher in late May 2022 compared to May 2021. Additionally, annual inflation in April was 16.82 percent, the highest inflation rate since August 2021. The high inflation rate is mainly attributable to increased energy and staple food prices. Shortages of petrol, diesel, and aviation fuel drive up transportation and production costs. Due to the Ukraine crisis, further price increases have been observed, notably for imported products such as wheat and fertilizer. As a result, flour and bread prices have increased significantly in the last month. Staple prices remain above last year and the five-year average in most markets across the country. 

    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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