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Sierra Leone Trader Survey Report Round 8

  • Special Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • April 27, 2015
Sierra Leone Trader Survey Report Round 8

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface

  • Preface

    Between November 2014 and April 2015, FEWS NET worked with Mobile Accord (GeoPoll) to conduct eight rounds of SMS-based trader surveys in Liberia and Sierra Leone on the status of market activities and operating costs. Liberia and Sierra Leone are FEWS NET remote monitoring countries. In remote monitoring countries, analysts typically work from a regional office, relying on a network of partners for information. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than FEWS NET presence countries. The SMS-based survey results serve to corroborate key informant and partner reports on market activities and serve as inputs to FEWS NET’s integrated food security analysis on the impacts of the Ebola outbreak. The first round of data collection identified a sample of traders to monitor fundamental market characteristics (Table 1). During the second through sixth rounds, the survey focused on market activities, while the subsequent rounds inquired about both market and agricultural activities. Data was collected on a bi-weekly basis for rounds 2-6 and on a monthly basis thereafter.

    Key Messages
    • This report provides a summary of findings from a FEWS NET trader survey using a SMS-based platform through GeoPoll during the week of March 30, 2015 (eighth round of data collection). The sample includes 500 small to large-scale traders across 14 districts in Sierra Leone (Figure 1). 

    • Thirty-two percent of respondents were local rice traders and 31 percent were imported rice traders, followed by palm oil (20 percent), and cassava (17 percent).

    • During the week of March 30th, 53 percent of survey respondents reported that the most important market in their area operated at reduced levels (Figures 2 and 3), and 10 percent of traders reported market closures.

    • Forty percent of traders indicated that market supplies of main commodities were lower than the previous month (Figure 4).

    • Travel restrictions was the most frequently cited reason for reduced market supplies since the previous month (Figure 5).

    • Over 75 percent of respondents indicated that the current primary agricultural activity is land preparation (Figure 10). Thirty-two percent of respondents reported normal and on-time agricultural activities (Figure 9).

    • More than 64 percent of respondents reported reduced wage opportunities compared to normal at this time (Figure 8). Over 35 percent of traders reported that they were not able to sell their cash crops as usual at this time of year (Figure 7).

    Occasionally, FEWS NET will publish a Special Report that serves to provide an in-depth analysis of food security issues of particular concern that are not covered in FEWS NET’s regular monthly reporting. These reports may focus on a specific factor driving food security outcomes anywhere in the world during a specified period of time. For example, in 2019, FEWS NET produced a Special Report on widespread flooding in East Africa and its associated impacts on regional food security.

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