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Good harvests and income-earning opportunities to continue Minimal acute food insecurity

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • March 2014
Good harvests and income-earning opportunities to continue Minimal acute food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through June 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Above-average rice harvests, the ongoing off-season harvest, and households’ above-average food stocks continue to allow good access to basic food and non-food needs in March. With typical income-earning activities generating normal levels of income, Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) will be maintained through at least June 2014.
    • Markets are currently well supplied with new harvests of rice and off-season crops, such as maize and vegetables. 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 stabilize prices around this time, further contributing to good food access for poor households.
    • Normal income sources are providing households with average levels of income, providing access to food and other essential non-food items as their food stocks diminish in April/May.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    No current or projected anomalies of concern are expected in Sierra Leone

     


    Projected outlook through June 2014

    In general, good national rice availability from domestic production and off-season cropping is allowing markets to meet demand, which has remained relatively stable due to household’s good level of grain stocks. In addition, rice import volumes are normal and supply is abundant on local markets. According to CIRAD, the international supply should be sufficient to meet global demand, keeping international rice prices stable. The national average price of imported rice remained stable in January 2014 compared to November 2013 and compared to last year at this time. This will allow households who depend on market purchase to access markets normally and meet their food needs. This situation is expected to continue until the next lean season beginning in May with good food access for poor households. However, the price for local rice is slightly above levels seen last year, the average national cost of imported milled rice is down 11 percent compared to January 2013. This has increased the revenues from the sale of rice for producing households and improve the access of poor households that depend mainly on the purchase of imported rice on markets.

    Normal income sources are providing households with average income levels that will allow them to purchase food and non-food expenditures as their food stock diminish and households return to the market in April/May. Land preparation, mostly practiced by poor households, is ongoing across the country and this year is providing them with above-average revenue, increasing their purchasing power and allowing them to meet their food needs. For example, the daily wage have increased from about Le 8,800 in 2012/13 to Le 11,000 in 2013/14 as casual labor wages have begun to align with mining labor wages. Ongoing harvests of off-season crops such as vegetables and sweet potatoes continue to improve poor households’ diets and incomes. 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. Cash crop marketing will continue normally in May/June and will provide regular income to households engaged in production.

    The rainy season will begin at the normal time in the country in April this year. This will create favorable weather conditions for a good start to the cropping season harvest. It will also create opportunities of income earning for poor households related to preparations and weeding of fields that occur during the projection period.

    Concerning livestock, the body conditions are good due to the abundance of pasture and the existence of water points following normal trends. There is no report of pest and diseases outbreak from the field. However cases of worms, foot rot and skin damage by ticks on small ruminants as well as Trypanosomiasis on cattle have been observed in Koinadugu, Bombali, Kambia, Tonkolili and Kono districts. A vaccination campaign is underway in these areas to prevent risks of acute contamination and alarming level.

    Food security conditions remain good throughout the country due to good levels of staple food stocks, stable prices and normal sources of food and income. Market dependent households have normal access to staple foods and the demand is relatively stable. The typical households’ livelihood strategies will remain in place at normal levels throughout the 2013/14 consumption year. As a result, Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is likely to be maintained through June.
     

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in A Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in A Typical Year

    Source:

    Figure 1.  Price of kg of imported and local rice on markets in Sierra Leone

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Price of kg of imported and local rice on markets in Sierra Leone

    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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