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Above-average crop production improves food availability and access

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Senegal
  • December 2015
Above-average crop production improves food availability and access

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through March 2016
  • Key Messages
    • According to the Department of Agricultural Studies, Planning, and Statistics, cereal production for the 2015/16 season is 65 percent above the five-year average and up 81 percent from 2014’s levels. These production increases bode well for good cereal availability across the country and will help drive Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity between December 2015 and March 2016 for most households. 

    • The ongoing harvests are improving the availability of locally grown cereal crops at both the market and household levels and are helping to reduce market demand for imported rice. This, in turn, is driving down food prices and is improving market access for poor households. 

    • The marketing season for groundnut crops has recently begun. This year’s official price of groundnuts is six percent above the average and is unchanged from last season’s levels, which should help generate average to above-average income levels for farmers in the groundnut basin.

    • However, poor households in Matam, Kanel, Raneyrou, Linguère, and Louga affected by crop production shortfalls as a result of poorly distribution rainfall will face an earlier than usual lean season in 2016 with the premature depletion of their food stocks. Accordingly, they will experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity starting in June. Likewise, flood-affected households across the country who are in the process of rebuilding their livelihoods will begin facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity starting in March.

    ZONE

    Current Anomalies

     Projected Anomalies

    National

    Well-above-average cereal production

    Good food availability on markets and at the household level

    Northeast

    Crop production shortfalls in agricultural areas of Matam, Kanel, Raneyrou Linguère, and Louga departments due to a poor distribution of rainfall

    Current shortfalls in crop production will cause a premature depletion of food stocks and will prolong the market dependency of affected households.

    Flood-stricken areas

     

    Poor, flood-affected households in the Fatick, Kaolack, Saint Louis, and Matam areas are in the process of rebuilding their livelihoods after experiencing large crop production shortfalls and severe damage to their homes and productive assets.

    Crop production shortfalls will cause the food stocks of flood-affected households to deplete earlier than usual, which will make them market dependent for a longer period of time than normal. 


    Projected outlook through March 2016

    Increases in cereal, groundnut, and cowpea production to levels approximately 65 percent, 46 percent, and more than 100 percent above-average, respectively, according to figures from the Department of Agricultural Studies, Planning, and Statistics, point to average to above-average supplies of these crops during the 2015/16 consumption year. However, poor households in Matam, Kanel, Raneyrou, Linguère, and Louga departments suffered large crop production shortfalls due to a poor distribution of rainfall in these areas. In general, good crop production levels are helping to build up the food stocks of agricultural households to above-average levels, except in localized areas of departments with crop production deficits.

    Pastoral conditions are generally good across the country. This points to an average lean season beginning in April 2016 for pastoral households who suffered through a particularly harsh and longer than usual lean season last year marked by livestock losses. Currently, normal milk production levels and average livestock body conditions are resulting in average to above-average incomes for pastoral households. This income, along with favorable livestock-to-cereal terms of trade, are helping to give pastoral households average market access to purchase food.

    Markets across the country have adequate stocks of imported rice and locally grown food crops (millet, sorghum, maize, and local rice). In addition, there are signs of a seasonal improvement in the supplies of locally grown cereals with the increasingly large influx of fresh crops from ongoing harvests. As a result, seasonal declines in cereal prices are becoming increasingly widespread. For example, millet prices at the end of November were down from the previous month by 14 percent in Saint Louis and three percent in Kaolack and were more or less stable in Dakar and Tambacounda. Additionally, compared to the five-year average, prices were down by 25 percent in Kaolack, 18 percent in Saint-Louis, and 10 percent in Tambacounda, but were nine percent above-average in Dakar due to the residual effects of the poor 2014/2015 growing season on that market. Meanwhile, the price of imported rice, the main dietary staple in Senegal, was more or less stable from the previous month and was below-average by approximately 15 percent in Saint-Louis and five percent in Ziguinchor. These price trends are helping most households maintain their market access at this time.

    The ongoing marketing season for groundnut crops, whose official price is six percent above-average, is expected to generate above-average incomes for farmers in the groundnut basin, except in localized areas with poor crop yields. Government subsidy for oil traders purchasing groundnuts, along with large government procurements of groundnuts to be used as seeds and guaranteed bank loans for buyers, should help make for a good 2015 marketing season. The resulting average to above-average levels of income will enable households to adequately meet their needs through October 2016.

    The ongoing above-average cereal harvests across the country are ensuring the availability of food and income from crop sales for agricultural households. Consequently, most households around the country are expected to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity.

    However, the premature depletion of food stocks by April/May instead of June as in a typical year in Matam, Kanel, Raneyrou, Linguère, and Louga departments due to crop production shortfalls caused by poorly distributed rainfall will cause poor households to be market dependent for a longer than usual period of time. Additional needs for funds to meet their food requirements will prompt poor households to ramp up their use of coping strategies, such as wage labor, migration, borrowing, and cutbacks in nonfood spending, to above-average levels. As a result, these households will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity beginning in June and continuing until the next round of harvests in October 2016.

    In addition, poor households affected by floods during the last rainy season (July to September 2015) need to rebuild their livelihoods after experiencing damage and losses of productive assets. While household production and community assistance networks are presently enabling them to meet their food needs, by March, they will begin to have difficulty meeting their food requirements while simultaneously trying to rebuild their livelihoods, which will require additional funds exceeding their means. To cope, they will ramp up their wage labor and borrow at uncharacteristically high levels and will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity from March until the next round of harvests. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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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