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Above average seasonal production contributes to continued Minimal food insecurity

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • November 2013
Above average seasonal production contributes to continued Minimal food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through December 2013
  • Key Messages
    • In addition to benefiting from increasing food stocks from an above-average harvest, poor households will earn normal levels of income from other activities such as petty trade, forestry product sales and casual labor during the 2013/2014 consumption year (October 2013-September 2014). As such, Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is expected through March 2014.

    • Production estimates from the joint CILSS/FEWS NET/FAO/WFP/Government pre-harvest assessment indicate that 2013/2014 rice production increased by 10 percent compared to last year and by 29 percent compared to the five-year average. The production forecast for cassava is 5 percent above last year and 26 percent above the five-year average. Production increases this year can likely be attributed to government assistance and favorable weather.

    Zonecurrent anomaliesProjected anomalies
    NationalNo significant anomalies observedNo significant anomalies projected

     


    Projected Outlook Through December 2013

    The joint CILSS/FAO/FEWS NET/WFP/Government pre-harvest assessment conducted in mid-October estimated that 2013/14 rice production would be 1,255,559 metric tons, which is a 10 percent increase compared to last year, and a 29 percent increase compared to the five-year average. The forecast for production of cassava is about 3,810,418 metric tons, which is 5 percent more than was produced last year, and 26 percent more than the 5-year average. According to the pre-harvest assessment, the harvests of other crops, including sweet potato and groundnut, are also expected to be above-average. The above-average production this year can largely be attributed to the generally average cumulative rainfall across the country this season, support to Farmer Based Organizations through Agricultural Business Centers, the rehabilitation of feeder roads facilitating links between producers and markets, as well as to provisions of improved rice seed varieties. Currently the ongoing harvest is improving household food stocks, maintaining typical seasonal income levels from crop sales, and reducing dependency on market purchases for staple foods, which is in turn increasing food access for poor households. Own harvests typically carry households through five or six months of consumption, but given the above average harvest this year, own production is expected to carry households an additional month, through March or April.

    Currently all markets across the country are well supplied with imported rice, though local rice has started to reach markets from the harvest currently underway. Compared to October, the price of imported rice (Le 3400/kg) declined slightly by six percent due to the seasonal decrease in demand on the main markets, while the price of local rice (Le 3500/kg) saw a significant decrease of 27 percent in line with the arrival of new harvests. Prices of other goods, such as cassava and sweet potato, are stable from September to October and are expected to follow normal seasonal trends due to average to above average production.

    Water and pasture conditions continue to improve in November, which will lead to an improvement in livestock body conditions. As such, prices for livestock will remain average to above average, peaking in November and December due to the high demand during end of the year holidays. The seasonal peak of terms of trade for pastoralists and agro pastoralists in November and December will allow them to replenish their food stocks.

    In view of the above-average agricultural production and the stability of market prices, it is likely that food access will remain good throughout the 2013/14 consumption year. Additionally, poor households will earn normal levels of income from other income-generating activities, including petty-trade, farm and forest products sales, and local labor and mining activities. With good access to food and sustained livelihoods, Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is expected throughout the country through March 2014.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    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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