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Poor pastoral conditions will affect the livelihoods of pastoral households

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Senegal
  • April 2015
Poor pastoral conditions will affect the livelihoods of pastoral households

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through September 2015
  • Key Messages
    • Pastoral households in the northern and central areas of the country will have below-average incomes due to poor conditions in pastoral areas, negatively affecting the market value of livestock.

    • Good harvests of market garden crops are currently generating average to above-average levels of income for households in market gardening areas in central areas and in the river valley, improving their purchasing power and food access. In riverine areas, the same outcome is expected from the rice harvest in June-July.

    • Generally below-average incomes are preventing households in Thiès, Louga, Matam, and northern Tambacounda from meeting their food and nonfood needs without resorting to negative coping strategies such as selling off productive assets and cutting their food intake. As a result, these households are currently facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity and will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between May and August.


    Current Anomalies

    Projected ANOMALIES


    • The food stocks of agropastoral households in central and northern crop-producing areas depleted one to two months earlier than usual.

    • Pastoral conditions in central and northern reaches of the country are severely degraded, resulting in a limited availability of animal products (milk, butter, and meat).

    • The premature depletion of their food stocks will prolong the market dependence of agropastoral households who also are facing generally below-average incomes.

    • The poor pastoral conditions pose a risk for above-average rates of animal mortality in pasture and water-deficit areas, which could erode the livelihoods of pastoral households.

    Projected Outlook Through September 2015

    Ongoing harvests of market garden crops, such as potatoes, onions, and tomatoes, are above-average throughout the country. As is the case every year, the government’s decision to freeze imports to allow local farmers to be able to sell their crops is facilitating the marketing of these crops. In general, prices for onions and potatoes are above-average by eight percent and three percent, respectively.

    Crop planting activities for off-season rice crops are creating job opportunities for poor households in the river valley, giving them access to average wage incomes. The expected average rice harvest in June-July will also improve the availability of this commodity in the river valley area.

    The marketing season for groundnut crops is winding down. The raising of needed funding by oil manufacturers for the payment of private traders and dealers allowed farmers to receive payments for their crops. However, with the approximate 50 percent shortfall in peanut production compared with the average and price levels that are slightly below the five-year average (by two percent), sales revenues from these transactions are below-average. Moreover, the financing problems at the beginning of the season led many farmers to resort to selling their crops on weekly markets at prices which, for example, were 12.5 percent and 25 percent under the official price in Tambacounda and Kolda, respectively. The overall decline in farm income, including revenues from the sale of groundnuts and cereal crops due to below-average yields, is negatively affecting household food access, particularly in the case of poor households, who will be dependent on market purchases to meet their food needs for a longer period of time than in a normal year

    Unusual herd movements caused by poor pastoral conditions in livestock-raising areas are negatively affecting the physical condition of animals, translating into a poorer than usual availability of animal products. This is reducing income from pastoral activities and curtailing the market access of poor pastoral households. Long-term seasonal weather forecasts for Senegal are generally less reliable than those for other areas of West Africa and current forecasts for the upcoming season are somewhat unclear. More precisely, NOAA/CPC forecasts show no weather anomalies in Senegal, while ECMWF forecasts are unfavorable and suggest a high probability of below-average rainfall. A poor start-of-season, if it were to occur, will heighten animal mortality risks in central and northern areas of the country hard hit by poor pastoral conditions.

    Supplies of locally grown cereal crops are lower than usual at this time of year due to the well-below-average volume of cereal production. However, in general, there are adequate cereal supplies on markets across the country from cereal imports from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Cote d’Ivoire and rice imports from Asia and Brazil. As a result, prices for local cereal crops are stable or up only slightly from last month and in line with normal seasonal trends for this time of year. In general, prices for locally grown cereal crops are above the five-year average, except in Saint Louis, where they are 11 percent below-average. On the whole, prices for regular broken rice are down, except in Ziguinchor, where they are approximately eight percent above-average. Prices for regular broken rice, which is the most widely consumed cereal in Senegal, have generally been stable since last month, which is improving household access to this commodity.

    Though food prices are stable, poor agropastoral households in the central and northern reaches of the country whose total income has been reduced by shortfalls from the sale of cash crops and pastoral activities are having difficulty sustaining their longer than usual dependence on market purchase. The slightly steeper than usual seasonal rise in prices for locally grown cereal crops in June-July will further curtail market access of poor households. The deliveries of government assistance in the form of food (15,000 MT of rice) and animal feed between May and September will not suffice to prevent many households from continuing to resort to negative coping strategies. In addition to increasing work hours, ongoing fishing and forestry activities, and labor migration activities to above-average levels, poor households will likely employ negative coping strategies such as cutting the size and, in some cases, the number of their meals. Households still unable to meet their basic food and nonfood needs at that point will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity between May and September. By September, the availability of green crops will shorten the lean season for agropastoral households who will then face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity.

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2


    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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