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Normal food security conditions are expected to continue through September

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • April 2014
Normal food security conditions are expected to continue through September

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through September 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Households’ average to above-average food stocks continue to allow good access to basic food and non-food needs in April, which will result in the normal lean season starting in June. With typical income-earning activities generating normal levels of income, Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) will be maintained through at least September 2014.
    • Poor, market-dependent households engaged in normal livelihood strategies through the projection period will continue to provide average levels of income and access to basic food through market purchases as their food stocks diminish in April/May.

    Projected outlook through September 2014

    The first meeting on the regional seasonal forecast for Guinean countries, held in Abidjan in early March, stated that for March-June 2014, cumulative rainfall will be normal to below normal in Sierra Leone. Therefore, due to the large amounts of annual rainfall in Sierra Leone in a normal year, even some below-normal rainfall is usually sufficient to support crop growth. The greatest challenge for the cropping season would be poor rainfall distribution and related increases in plant disease outbreak. However, satellite-derived imagery shows moderate cumulative rainfall in half eastern parts of the country from the first dekad (ten-day period) of March to the first dekad (ten-day period) of April. The rainfall conditions vary from moderate to slight deficit, but allow land preparation for rice and cassava planted in the lowlands in December-January, which will be ready for harvest in June, coinciding with the beginning of the lean season. This also allows normal planting of tobacco, pepper, sweet potato and maize.

    In general, food security conditions remain good throughout the country due to average to above-average household food stocks, resulting from the recent good staple crop harvest and the current harvesting of dry season rice crops in lowland areas and normal incomes derived from selling farm products such as rice, vegetables, and cash crops. Other income-generating activities such as sale of forest products, local labor, mining activities, fishing, petty trade, sale of charcoal and palm oil are offering seasonal income earning opportunities to poor households. This allows them to earn normal income and to meet their typical food and non-food expenses.

    Markets are currently well supplied with both imported and local rice. Households continue to have access to their own rice stocks, keeping market demand seasonally stable. As a result, prices of imported rice (a key purchased staple for households) have been relatively stable. In addition, with the normal onset of the rains during May-June, some big producers will sell stocks to raise money to purchase agricultural inputs and hire labor. This will increase market supply and further contribute to stable prices and good food access for poor households.

    Although there are no reports of pest or disease outbreaks from the field, a vaccination campaign is underway in Koinadugu, Bombali, Kambia, Tonkolili and Kono districts where cases of worms, foot rot and skin damage by ticks on small ruminants as well as Trypanosomiasis on cattle have been observed, in order to prevent risks of acute contamination and alarming level.

    Household food security is expected to remain favorable throughout the country due to good levels of staple food stocks, stable prices and normal sources of food and income. The lean season (June-August) is expected to be normal with market dependent households having normal access to staple foods with relatively stable demand. The typical households’ livelihood strategies will remain in place throughout the 2013/14 consumption year. Acute food insecurity will remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through at least September.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Cumulative rainfall estimate 1st dekad of March to 1st dekad of April 2014

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Cumulative rainfall estimate 1st dekad of March to 1st dekad of April 2014

    Source:

    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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