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Above average stocks and normal strategies suggest minimal food insecurity through June

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • February 2013
Above average stocks and normal strategies suggest minimal food insecurity through June

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through June 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Staple food prices, primarily rice, are at normal levels due to average market supply of both local and imported rice and above average household stocks. Poor households will continue to access to basic food needs through consumption of their own stocks and market purchase.

    • Poor households will earn normal income from off-farm activities (ex. petty trade, forestry product sales, casual labor) through June, as typical for the season. Good harvests and normal income levels will result in Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) through at least May 2013.





    The 2012/13 major crop harvests have been above-average, leading to good household stocks in rural areas and normal access to basic food needs.

    A majority of households in rural areas will continue to rely on their own stocks, delaying seasonal dependence on market purchase and stable prices for basic commodities.

    Projected Outlook through June 2013

    Since December, no major updates have circulated regarding the cholera epidemic across Sierra Leone in 2012.  This reflects a stabilization of cholera in the country since October due to pro-active control measures.  Food security across the country has not been notably impacted by the epidemic.  

    Low land cassava planting that began in November is completed and weeding is ongoing. The harvest is expected in June-July, coinciding with the onset of the lean season when households stocks of local rice are exhausted and dependence on  increases on imported rice and cassava consumption.  The harvest of yam and fresh maize that took place in January is improving locally food availability. The harvest of upland rice is generally completed and household food stocks remain at average and favorable level due to consecutive good harvests. Vegetables harvested from February to March will improve household dietary diversity and incomes. The palm oil harvest is near completion and the dry season sweet potato harvest will start in March, improving poor household access to basic food. Both newly harvested rice and imported varieties are well-supplied on local markets.  The price of local milled rice (parboil) that increased by 5 percent on average between September and October was reported to be stable in January, given that supply on the market has been replenished by recent harvests. Poor households who relied on food loans during the June-August lean season to meet food needs will repay traders with their newly harvested rice. However, due to a relatively less difficult 2012 lean season than normal and the current harvest levels, these payments will have less impact on household food stocks compared to a normal year.

    In February, gasoline prices are reported to be stable ( 4,500LE/liter in Freetown and districts headquarter towns). Retail prices in remote areas are typically 500-1000LE higher per liter and do not affect significantky commodities prices.

    Production of other major crops is above-average by 34-40 percent this season, which will also contribute to assuring normal income levels from crop sales and a reduced dependency on market purchases for staple foods before lean season starting in June/July. Household food stocks normally last approximately five to six months and this year, stocks are expected to last possibly one month longer. (October 2012)

    In addition to income from staple food sales, many poor households are earning typical wage levels from other income-generating activities, such as petty-trade, forest and farm product sales (vegetables and cash crops, such as tobacco and palm oil), local labor, and mining activities. These livelihood strategies will continue seasonably through the 2012/13 consumption year. Due to the favorable harvest, continuation of normal income levels and livelihood strategies, minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is likely through the next lean season in June. (November 2012)

    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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