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Stressed food security conditions following an early lean season in northern and central areas

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Senegal
  • August 2016
Stressed food security conditions following an early lean season in northern and central areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Most households across the country are still experiencing Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) due to good market supplies which are facilitating food access. However, poor households in the central and northeastern parts of the country and current flood victims are having difficulty meeting their food needs. This is putting them in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity between August and September. 

    • Atypical flooding as a result of the heavy rains at the end of July and the beginning of August caused above- average physical damage to property and loss of human life in the Kafrine, Dakar, Saint Louis, and Matam regions. Affected households in these regions will be in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity between August and September. 

    • On the whole, crop developing is progressing normally in spite of the relatively long delay in the start-of-season rains. The farm input assistance from the government and partners is expected to help produce average harvests in October 2016 in all parts of the country. Most households will experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity by October, after the harvests.

    • The late start of the rains in the groundnut basin and northern part of the country could affect planting rates for cereals and pulses (groundnuts and cowpeas) around the country. This could negatively affect production forecasts in spite of the efforts made by the government to increase domestic crop production.


    Current anomalies

    Projected anomalies


    First rainfall is one to two weeks late compared with the normal calendar and previous year, particularly in the groundnut basin. Crop planting activities have begun in farming areas.


    Poor households in areas affected by below-average crop production in 2015 with limited food access are resorting to atypical strategies including borrowing and cutbacks in their nonfood spending.


    The timely delivery of seeds and fertilizer to farming areas across the country at government-subsidized prices should improve household access to inputs.

    The light to moderate rainfall expected by the national weather service in the first ten days of the month will help jump-start the growing season in areas that have been delayed.


    The national response plan providing poor households with farm inputs at subsidized prices will reduce farming costs to help improve their food access on local markets.


    The improvement in household access to farm inputs will help boost cropping rates and resulting crop production levels. 

    Central, north,  southern areas of the country

    The heavy rains in July and August resulted in flooding, causing damage to household assets.

    The expected heavy rains in August will create more flood damage in central and southern areas of the country, affecting the livelihoods of victims.


    The rainfall deficit through the middle of July was partially offset by the heavy rains at the end of July and the beginning of August. Cumulative rainfall levels for the period from May 1st through August 20th are normal to above-average in the eastern half of the country and below-normal to average in the west (Figure 1). The large amounts of rain in late July and early August and the resulting floods in the Fatick, Dakar, Kaolack, Saint Louis, and Matam regions caused major property damage and led to losses of human lives. As of August 20th, there were more than a thousand flood victims and some fatalities in Matam and Dakar. The government and its partners are distributing food supplies and sanitation kits to assist the flood victims.

    The last crop planting activities are underway and crop maintenance work has begun. The large volume of farm input assistance provided by the government and its partners as well as forecasts by weather services for normal levels of rainfall are raising expectations for average harvests in all parts of the country beginning in October 2016. Ongoing farming activities are providing food and income-generating opportunities for poor households. The average to above-average harvests of off-season rice crops in July 2016 in the Senegal River Valley are producing average levels of food and income for households in that area, easing food access problems for poor households.

    The poor rainfall conditions in June-July delayed the recovery of pastures in central and northern areas of the country, which explains the average to poor physical condition of livestock, particularly in the Matam region. The pick-up in rainfall in the last week of July helped improve pastoral conditions and jump-started return migration by livestock herds to the Ferlo pastoral area. The lower levels of milk production in the Matam region due to the poor physical condition of local livestock is negatively affecting the quality of the diet and incomes of pastoral households.

    There are still adequate cereal supplies on markets in all parts of the country owing to the harvests of off-season rice crops in the Senegal River Valley and large trader inventories. There are average supplies of cereals, particularly supplies of imported regular broken rice and locally grown rice. There are still adequate supplies of locally grown cereal crops in spite of the contraction in supplies with the deliveries of farm inputs (seeds and fertilizer) limiting clearance sales by farmers in crop-producing areas. Cereal prices are unchanged or up from last month in line with seasonal trends. Millet prices in Dakar are up by 12 percent, maize prices in Kaolack are up by eight percent, and sorghum prices in Thiès are up by 16 percent. Millet prices are virtually on par with the five-year average, while prices for sorghum and maize are above-average by 17 percent and 14 percent, respectively. In general, prices for broken rice have been virtually stable since last month and are slightly below the five-year average by five percent.

    Most households across the country will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between August and the upcoming October harvests, with near-average food prices helping them maintain average food access and generate average amounts of income from their usual activities. However, the premature depletion of their food stocks by poor households in localized areas of Matam, Kanel, Raneyrou, Linguère, and Louga departments due to their poor 2015/16 harvests is causing them to resort to atypical coping strategies to meet their food needs. Their atypical ramped-up reliance on wage labor and borrowing and their leaning towards the lowest-cost foods is putting poor households in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) phase of food insecurity during the lean season between August and September. By the end of September, the availability of green crops, though below-average due to the late start of crop planting activities, and the near-average levels of food prices will improve the food security situation, with most households experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity as of October. However, poor households affected by the July and August floods are stressed as a result of the destruction of their livelihoods and their difficulty properly meeting their food needs without outside assistance. Thus, these households will be in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) phase of food insecurity between August 2016 and January 2017.


    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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