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Normal household food access to continue beyond September harvest

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • July 2013
Normal household food access to continue beyond September harvest

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through September 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Normal access to basic food needs continues despite the onset of the lean season, due to harvests of lowland cassava, maize, sorghum, pepper and other vegetables, normal seasonal income levels and the stability of imported rice prices. 

    • Already above-average cumulative rainfall amounts recorded from April to end of June and the seasonal forecast continue to support the likelihood of normal crop development through the rest of the season, leading to at least an average harvest.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    No significant anomalies are currently observed or projected during the outlook period.


    Projected Outlook through September 2013

    The regional seasonal forecast from May to October suggests average to above average rainfall country-wide, supported by already above-average cumulative rainfall amounts recorded from April to end of June.  Good rainfall has supported on-time planting as well as favorable crop development to-date. Planting activities are completed across the country for most crops (upland rice, cassava, sweet potato and vegetables) except for local rice varieties for which planting will continue through August depending on the local ecology. Other key ongoing agricultural activities include weeding, and harvest of lowland cassava, maize, sorghum, pepper and other vegetables. The seasonal forecast continues to support the likelihood of normal crop development through the rest of the season, leading to at least an average harvest.

    The lean season, when households tend to substitute tubers for rice, is now underway after a one month delay following better-than-average household stocks from 2012 harvests.  Household food stocks are now seasonably lower or depleted for poor households, however well-supplied markets are easing access as market dependency increases among the poor and very poor.  Market purchase is possible due to normal seasonal income earning,

    Prices of imported rice and local varieties vary between 3600 and 4000 LE/kg  and are generally stable and similar to average. Normal access to basic food needs will continue in August with the harvest of sweet potato and groundnut prior to the beginning of the rice harvest in September.  Some market dependent poor households may continue to depend on lowland cassava harvests, which have been ongoing country-wide since June.  In Koinadugu, Kono, Kailahun, Kenema and Bo, households will rely more heavily on current harvests of maize and sorghum.  Income derived from the partial sale of this off-season production, along with the sale of cash crops such as pepper and other vegetables contribute to improve household incomes.

    Well supplied markets, stable rice prices, normal labor opportunities, and average incomes from the sales of forest and farm products, petty-trade, local labor, and mining activities will allow market purchase of rice and other basic food throughout the lean season, which will end in late August. Depleted household stocks will be reinforced by the ongoing and early harvest of maize, sorghum and sweet potato, before the green harvest of rice in September and the main harvest starting October. Typical livelihood strategies are likely to remain in place until October, and food insecurity will remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through December. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly, April 1 - June 30, 2013

    Figure 2

    Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly, April 1 - June 30, 2013

    Source: USGS/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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