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Sierra Leone Trader Survey Report Round 2

  • Special Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • December 15, 2014
Sierra Leone Trader Survey Report Round 2

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Preface

  • Preface

    Since November 2014, FEWS NET has worked with Mobile Accord (GeoPoll) to conduct SMS-based trader surveys in Liberia and Sierra Leone to gather information on the status of market activities and operating costs in areas made inaccessible by the Ebola epidemic.  Liberia and Sierra Leone are FEWS NET remote monitoring countries. In remote monitoring countries, analysts typically work from a nearby 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.

    Key Messages
    • Between November 3-17, 2014 FEWS NET collected two rounds of trader survey data using a SMS-based platform through GeoPoll. The sample includes over 400 small to large-scale traders across the 14 districts of Ebola-affected Sierra Leone. The first round of data collection focused on identifying a sample of traders to monitor over five subsequent rounds of data collection and their characteristics including location, typical activities, and size. During the second round, respondents were asked questions about current market activities.

    • Over 30 percent of respondents were palm oil traders, followed by cassava (27 percent), imported rice (23 percent), and local rice (20 percent). This distribution reflects the structure of agricultural markets in Sierra Leone, with higher concentration and barriers to entry to imported rice trading.

    • Despite an official ban on weekly markets in Sierra Leone, less than 10 percent of traders reported that weekly markets were closed in their local communities. Over 40 percent of traders, however, reported that weekly or daily markets operated at reduced levels.

    • Survey respondents in each district reported lower than normal stock levels. Over 50 percent of traders reported below-average stocks in six districts, including both quarantined and non-quarantined zones (Bo, Bonthe, Kambia, Kenema, Moyamba, and Port Loko). Travel restrictions and high transportation costs were the most commonly cited reason for below-average stock levels on markets.

    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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