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Minimal food insecurity continues through September

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • June 2013
Minimal food insecurity continues through September

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through September 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Average to above average food stocks at the household level continue to allow good access to basic food needs and will likely delay the start of the lean season by a month, until July.

    • Poor, market-dependent households will continue to engage in normal seasonal livelihood strategies and will be able to access their minimum food needs through September.

    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 mid-June. Good rainfall has supported on-time and early planting as well as favorable crop development to-date. The seasonal forecast also supports the likelihood of normal crop development through the rest of the season, leading to at least an average harvest. Planting activities for upland rice and cassava as well as sweet potato and vegetables have been ongoing since May across the country, and lowland cassava, the main lean season staple food, is ready for harvest from now through August.

    Household food stocks are seasonably lower than previous months but remain average to above average due to consecutive good harvests, resulting in lower than normal market demand for this time of year, which is also stabilizing prices at below average levels. Poor households whose rice stocks are depleted have access to imported varieties through well-supplied markets and are accessing their food needs through purchase, made possible by normal seasonal income levels. The lean season, during which time households will substitute tubers for rice, is likely to start in July, one month later than normal. Even during the peak of the lean season in July-August, households will likely be able to meet their basic food needs despite depletion of stocks. Some market dependent poor households may rely on lowland cassava harvests that take place in JuneJuly, in addition to the consumption of early green harvests, of maize, sorghum and millet as well as local sweet potato. 

    The palm oil harvest and marketing season is complete in many parts of the country, but will continue through June in the southern and eastern districts of Bo, Gandorhun, Kenema, and Kailahun. Palm oil sales are an important income source for poor households in these areas. Field information suggest continuous high prices in the northern areas close to Guinea due to increasing demand and current seasonally low supply, leading to above average incomes for households who are marketing this product. 

    Average to above average household stocks at the beginning of the lean season, stable prices of rice, 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. Household stocks will be reinforced by the harvest of maize, millet and sorghum as well as sweet potato in July before the green harvest 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 September. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly, April 1 – June 10, 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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