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Sierra Leone Trader Survey Report Round 4

  • Special Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • January 20, 2015
Sierra Leone Trader Survey Report Round 4

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface

  • Preface

    Between the weeks of November 3 and December 22, 2014 FEWS NET worked with Mobile Accord (GeoPoll) to carry out four rounds of 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. The first round of data collection identified a sample of traders to monitor and some fundamental characteristics (Table 1). During the second through fourth rounds, the survey inquired about current market activities. 

    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 December 22, 2014 (fourth round of data collection.) The sample includes over 300 small to large-scale traders across the 14 districts of Sierra Leone (Figure 1).

    • Over 30 percent of respondents were palm oil traders, followed by cassava (28 percent), imported rice (22 percent), and local rice (19 percent). This distribution reflects the structure of agricultural markets in Sierra Leone, with higher concentration and barriers to entry to imported rice trading (FEWS NET).

    • Despite an official ban on weekly markets in Sierra Leone, only 10 percent of traders reported weekly market closures in their local communities. Nearly 60 percent of traders, however, reported that weekly markets operated at reduced levels. 

    • Although it is currently the post-harvest period, nearly 40 percent of traders indicated that market supplies of main commodities declined since the previous data collection round in early December. Almost 50 percent of traders reported food supplies were inadequate to meet local needs (Figure 4 and 5). 

    • Restrictions on travel was the most frequently cited reason for reduced market supplies (Figure 6). Only 14 percent of traders reported that cash crop sale opportunities had declined since early December.

    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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