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Good harvest prospects and normal income levels lead to minimal food insecurity

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • October 2013
Good harvest prospects and normal income levels lead to minimal food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Well distributed rains with good accumulation alongside adequate support from agricultural stakeholders will lead to an above average harvest. The harvest of rice, maize, cassava and vegetables is ongoing and will continue through December. 

    • The above average harvest and normal seasonal income generating opportunities are improving poor households' access to food following the lean season and are reducing the need for market purchase. Household food insecurity is expected to remain at Minimal levels (IPC Phase 1) from October 2013 through March 2014.

    • Imported rice, more predominant in domestic markets until the Sierra Leonean rice harvest reaches market in November or December, is readily available and affordable to households. The price of imported rice is expected to decline further through the remainder of 2013. 

    Projected Outlook through December 2014

    Accumulated rainfall totals for the season from April to the end of September were moderately higher than normal (ranging from 10 to 50 percent above the 5-year average) and well distributed throughout the country, providing indications for a successful main agricultural season (April-October). This has supported favorable crop development this season leading to the expectation of above-average production, with the harvests of rice, pepper, cassava, sweet potato and vegetables underway since early October and continuing through December. Agricultural production this season has been aided by the Government and its partners, including the FAO, who have increased support for production inputs and have promoted the adoption of best practices. Newly harvested rice, though, will likely not make it to markets until November or December, meaning markets are still dominated by imported rice. The expected decline of international rice prices through the remainder of 2013 means the imported rice is affordable to domestic consumers.

    Prices of other goods such as cassava, sweet potato and maize are expected to follow normal seasonal trends due to average to above average production following the good cropping season. Water and pasture conditions have improved in October, which will lead to improvement in livestock body conditions. As such, prices will remain average to above average, especially during periods of high demand for end of the year holidays.

    In general, poor households will earn normal levels of income from other income-generating activities, including petty-trade, the sale of farm and forest products, local labor, and mining activities. With the good harvest, favorable market stocks, stable rice prices, and normal income levels, livelihood strategies will remain in place at normal levels throughout the 2013/14 consumption year (through next September). With maintained livelihoods and good household access to food needs, minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is expected throughout the country through March 2014.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in A Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in A Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly,  April 1 – September 30, 2013

    Figure 2

    Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly, April 1 – September 30, 2013

    Source: USGS

    Figure 3


    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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