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Minimal food insecurity expected through next harvest

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Senegal
  • May 2013
Minimal food insecurity expected through next harvest

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through October 2013
  • Key Messages
    • The consolidated  seasonal forecast (NOAA, ECMWF, UK MO and others ) suggests an average to above average 2013/14 rainy season, with rainfall likely to support  average harvests in October. 

    • Average household stocks, the pursuit of normal livelihood strategies, and the declining prices of imported broken rice will help to maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through September, leading up to the main harvest in October.





    • Market supply in local cereals is improving with decreasing prices compared to the first quarter 2013.  However, supply remains moderate for millet in four key markets where prices are 15-20 higher than last year, providing households will higher than average incomes for marketing their cereal stocks.
    • Supply will continue improve in June as households will likely sell more cereals to meet inputs needs for the starting crop season. However, prices of millet will remain high due to the high demand particularly during Ramadan which coincides with the normal lean season in July.

    Projected Outlook through October 2013

    Due to a good harvest of both traditional cereals (maize, millet, and sorghum) and consumable cash crops (groundnuts and cowpeas), many producers prioritized cash crop sales in the post harvest period (November to March), delaying the start of the cereal marketing season until the first or second quarter of 2013. High competition among groundnut buyers led to unusually high prices ranging from 10-25% above last year and about 40 percent above the five-year average, providing above average incomes to households and leading to  favorable terms of trade for groundnut producers to imported broken rice, almost twice the five-year average.  The prioritization of cash crop sales as also resulted in lower market demand for cereals, as households have retained their cereal stocks and depend less on the market than would be normal for this time of year, just ahead of the agropastoral lean season, which begins in July.

    Local cereal supply improved in April compared to March, but remained moderate with stable prices continuing to hold steady. These prices are stable compared to last year except millet in select markets, including Dakar, Diourbel, Kolda and Ziguinchor, where prices are 15-20 percent higher than last year due to relatively moderate market supply and more demand.  Local cereal prices are generally about 10-24% above average nationwide. However, household incomes are reportedly average to above average for this time of year, allowing access to these commodities despite higher than usual price levels.

    In May, market supply overall reportedly increased as households offloaded their cereal stocks in order to generate income needed to access agricultural inputs for the cropping season, currently underway in the south. As demand for cereals increases seasonably due to the ongoing need for seeds and inputs, and consumption during Ramadan in July-August, prices are also likely to increase, particularly that of millet which is currently 14 percent above average and providing above average incomes.

    In April, prices of imported broken rice, the widely consumed staple, remained 6 percent below 2012 levels and near or below average, while household purchasing power for imported rice is higher than average. In late May, the National Council for Consumption set the price of imported broken rice at 260XOF/kg in Dakar, compared to previous levels (294 XOF in markets, a national average of 295XOF/kg). This decision by the government aims to increase access to staple foods during the lean season, particularly during Ramadan in July/August, and will extend price caps to other localities and for other commodities (vegetable oil and sugar).  Trader stocks of imported broken rice are reportedly average, and given strong household reserves as well as price setting by the government, the probability of stable or falling rice prices is high through October and suggests normal access to this staple food by the majority of households during the lean season. Starting in September, the availability of green harvests will replenish households stocks depleted in July and provide incomes through crop sales.

    Market supply of livestock was reportedly below average in mid-May due to a general lack of household animal sales, as households continue to benefit from above average household cereal stocks, above average incomes from cash crop and crop residues sale, and the generally reduced maintenance cost and flows of livestock from Mali compared to normal. Prices for livestock are stable or increasing in May compared to last year, and will likely continue to increase during Ramadan when the demand for meat is high.  Demand will remain high during the July-September period as pasture becomes available for grazing, leading to less local supply, and less supply coming from seasonal migration in neighboring Mali. The terms of trade for livestock/imported broken rice will remain favorable to pastoralists through the main harvest in October due to above normal animal prices and decreasing prices of imported broken rice.

    The seasonal forecast issued in April for the 2013 cropping season suggests above-average rainfall from the centre to the south of the country for April-June and May-July and above average in the south in June-August. Current information suggests a normal start and progress of the crop season and a normal 2013/14 harvest may be anticipated, resulting into a normal access to basic food through household production in rural areas.

    The irrigated rice harvest in the Senegal River Valley that started in April through June is likely to be average to above average, replenishing local households stocks. In general, good household stocks resulting from the favorable 2012/13 harvest, the stable or falling imported broken rice prices coupled with other typical livelihood activities like petty trade, selling forest products (charcoal, wood, wild fruits, etc.), transportation services, local labor, and seasonal migration will continue to allow poor market dependent households to access essential food and non-food needs. Households will likely face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through September, leading up to the main harvest in October. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    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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