Food Security Outlook

The most serious levels of food insecurity will continue in northeastern Nigeria

November 2016

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance

Key Messages

  • In northeastern Nigeria, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity continues in western Yobe, southern Borno, and northern Adamawa given the impact of the Boko Haram conflict. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes prevail in eastern Yobe and central and northern Borno. Many households whose livelihoods were destroyed face large consumption deficits and high malnutrition levels.

  • In isolated and inaccessible areas of northeastern Nigeria, although data is rare, available information suggests that it is possible that certain populations are in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Given this concerning situation in northeastern Nigeria and in the Lake Chad basin that could continue until at least May 2017, humanitarian assistance is urgently needed.

  • Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity will remain until January 2017 for poor households affected by the Boko Haram conflict in the Lac Region of Chad and the Diffa Region of Niger. These areas could evolve into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) starting in February with the conflict contributing to displaced households, disruptions of livelihoods, and pressures on limited resources. These impacts are causing poor households and displaced households to be incapable of covering their food needs.

  • In the Central African Republic, despite the widespread harvests and the end of the lean season in October, food security remains concerning because these food availabilities will not be able to compensate for the food deficits of displaced people, host families, and poor resident households in areas of insecurity. They will be incapable of covering their food needs and will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until at least May 2017.

  • Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity will remain until May in the western agropastoral zone in Mauritania due to the failure of rain-fed crops. However, this level of food insecurity will only appear in March/April in the rice-growing zones in Mali given significant production declines following flooding and in Kanem, BEG, Guera, and Wadi Fira in Chad given a strong decline in their main income sources (remittances, livestock exportation, etc.).

  • The majority of areas will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) until May 2017 thanks to good household stock levels, above-average agricultural production tendencies this year, normal market functioning, and normal livelihood strategies. Nevertheless, below-average productions will be observed locally in Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and northeastern Nigeria.

  • Markets are well-supplied in diverse products from the new harvests and have stable or decreasing prices, facilitating access. Nevertheless, in northern Mali and the Lake Chad basin, civil insecurity continues to disrupt market functioning. In addition, the Naira depreciation continues to limit sales opportunities of livestock and cash crops from Sahelian countries to Nigeria.

  • The favorable level of water points suggests a good outlook for dry season crops. Production of pasturelands are overall satisfactory in the Sahel except locally in Niger but normal transhumance movements will allow acceptable food levels for livestock. Nevertheless, in the Lake Chad basin, insecurity will continue to negatively impact these transhumance movements.

Outlook by Country

Burkina Faso
  • The seasonally typical decrease in cereal prices since the beginning of October is seen across the majority of the country. As a result of harvests in progress, the availability of products is increasing in markets. Prices for staple grains remain stable overall compared to the same time last year and also to the five year average. In the Sahelian zone, which is usually in deficit, only the Titao market shows an unusual increase in the price of millet by 22 percent compared to the five year average. 
  • Agricultural households, notably the poorest, have a normal daily diet from their own production. Sales of parts of their production, particularly cash crops (peanuts, Bambara groundnut, cowpeas, fonio and sweet potatoes) are bringing them near normal revenues. In addition, the startup of market garden activities and gold panning are also a sources of income for producers to strengthen and improve their diets and incomes, as usual, for the coming months. 
  • Livestock sales, particularly cattle and sheep, remains sluggish owing to the decline in external flows to the main purchasing countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire) partly as a result of the depreciation of the Naira and the CEDI. In the livestock markest of Dori, Djibo, and Gorom Gorom, ram prices have fallen by 5 to 11 percent compared to September 2015. Nevertheless, the physical state of livestock is good and there is resumption of internal trade. Although agricultural households do not currently purchase cereal for consumption, the terms of trade for livestock/cereals are in their favor.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for October 2016 to May 2017.

Chad
  • Cereal production for the 2016/2017 season is estimated at 2,813,842 tons according to the Ministry of Agriculture (DPAS) compared to the five-year average of 2,530,630 tons, which is an increase of 11 percent. With the exception of wheat (-10 percent) given dry spells observed during the season, all cereal crops have registered an increase compared to the five-year average due to the favorable levels of rain which were well-distributed over time.
  • The cereal surplus is larger in the Sahelian zone (+`4 percent) compared to the southern part of the country (+5 percent). Nevertheless, rice and millet in the Soudanian band have registered deficits of 15 and 14 percent respectively compared to the five-year average because of dry spells. The only deficit regions are BEG, Wadi Fira, and Tandjilé that have cereal deficits ranging from 6 to 12 percent.
  • Households in the Kanem and Bahr El Ghazal Regions, plus those in Kobé Department (Wadi Fira) and Abtouyour Department (Guera) will start depending normally on the market in March and will have difficulties for their food consumption starting in first semester in 2017 due to strong declines in their main revenue sources. To this effect, households in these two regions and two departments will be in a Stressed (IPC Phase 2) situation in April and May.
  • The pastoral situation is characterized by good animal body conditions thanks to the very favorable pasture availability that can cover food needs until the end of April 2017 instead of the end of March as in a normal year. However, in the transhumance zones, pastures will be available only until the end of February instead of the end of March following dry sequences. Temporary lakes will remain well-filled and can continue to water animals until February/March in the Sahel and April in the Soudanian band as is usual.
  • Thanks to the better than average cereal stock levels, the good pasture availability and income from agricultural manual labor, most households are capable of covering their food needs and the majority of zones will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity until May 2017, with the exception of Lac which is affected by the Boko Haram conflict.  It will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and from April in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) following the early depletion of stocks.

    For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for October 2016 to May 2017.

Guinea
  • The 2016/2017 agricultural season is progressing normally with a calm plant and animal health situation. November is the peak period of harvests for rice, fonio, groundnuts, and exportation crops all over the country. The favorable level of harvests, begun since the end of September, suggests a situation better than the five year average, which will maintain the entire country in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes until at least May 2017.
  • Flooding in the plains of Haute and Basse Guinée, pockets of temporary dry spells observed in certain parts of the country, the appearance of mildew on potatoes in Moyenne Guinée whose loses have been estimated by the Fouta Farmers Federation at more than 50 million FG in October and the continuation of the low rubber prices will present pressures on the livelihoods of certain affected households in the next months.
  • A normal market supply will continue because of the new harvests that will spread until the beginning of 2017.  As in 2015, rice prices will remain stable given the good food availability and the favorable international market for rice importations.  Currently, the local rice price fluctuates between 5500 and 6500 FG the kilogram according to quality throughout the country and the price of imported steamed rice varies between 5200 and 6000 FG/kg in October 2016 according to AGUISSA.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from October 2016 to May 2017.

Mali
  • Cereal production above the five year average (32 percent) across the country indicates a good availability of cereal throughout the 2016/2017 consumption year. However, significant reductions in production resulting from flooding in some areas and insufficient rain other areas in September are reported in the western Sahel and in the rice production zones of the north and central regions. 
  • Cereal stocks at markets remain sufficient throughout the country and are increasingly improving thanks to destocking and harvests in progress. The availability of new harvests and the seasonal decrease in cereal prices that remains lower than the five year average, and the livestock/cereal terms of trade favorable to farmers, favors average access to foodstuffs for households. 
  • Degradation of the food security situation to Stress (IPC Phase 2) is probable beginning in March for some areas in the western Sahel and in rice production zones of the north and central regions as a result of the significant reduction in their cereal production that will negatively affect poor households’ access to foodstuffs.
  • The decreased demand for livestock, from Algeria as a result of the Rift Valley Fever that is rampant in Niger, and from Nigeria as a result of the depreciating Naira, is negatively affecting pastoralists’ revenues in the regions of Kidal, Gao, and Menaka. This decrease in pastoralists’ revenues will limit pastoral households’ access to markets. 

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from October 2016 to May 2017.

Mauritania
  • Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is expected throughout the country from October to May 2017, as was recently confirmed by the Cadre Harmonise workshop. Only the west of the agropastoral zone (moughataa de Moudjeria, de Magta Lahjar, de Monguel et M’Bout) is currently in Stress (IPC Phase 2), as a result of a deficit in agricultural production caused by of insufficient and irregular rains.
  • Expected rain fed cereal production, as published by the CILSS-FAO-FEWS NET-WFP et Government joint mission, is slightly above the five year average (3 percent). The ongoing harvests since October reinforce the availability of food for households through consumption of their own agricultural production, and will limit the need for poor households to purchase food until May (even though markets are well stocked with imported foods), like an average year. 
  • Pastoral conditions are satisfactory in all wilayas. Localized pasture deficits will be filled by normal internal transhumance to neighboring zones, thus limiting external transhumance. The level of herd reproduction is like a usual year, which is keeping animal prices higher and offering households an availability of milk that will remain at the average through May. 
  • The resurgence of locust infestations, although under control, and the lack of concerted anti-avian control between Mauritania and its neighbors, are factors of large losses in flood recession crops (which are harvested from February to March) and may lead to a deterioration in food security in the Senegal River Valley and in the agropastoral zone, in which is concentrated the majority of the flood-recession crops that are currently in the tilling stage. 

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from October 2016 to May 2017.

Niger
  • The main ongoing livelihood activities in November 2016 are harvesting work and the selling of cereals and cash crops, which are offering good revenue-generating opportunities to poor households. This is increasing poor households’ accessibility to basic foodstuffs and maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity in November 2016 to May 2017.
  • According to available preliminary data on the agriculture season, national productions in millet, sorghum, maize, and rice are 20 percent above the five year average. All the main agricultural regions of the country have registered surpluses with localized deficits observed in certain departments like Mayahi (Maradi), Bouza (Tahoua), Torodi, Bankilare, Banibangou and Kollo (Tillabéri). 
  • In the transhumance pastoral areas of the regions of Tahoua, Zinder, Agadez, and Maradi and the agricultural areas of Maradi (Dakoro, Mayahi), early deterioration of animals’ physical conditions and early depletion of household stocks are expected following foraging and cereal deficits linked to the negative effects of climatic shocks.  Poor households will have insufficient revenues to cover their non-food needs and will be in a situation of Stressed (IPC Phase 2) starting in March 2017.
  • In the Diffa region, persistent insecurity is continuing to disrupt market functioning and the main income-generating activities like fishing, sales of pepper and livestock, and migration to Nigeria and Libya.  A Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) situation thanks to planed humanitarian support and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) situations could evolve into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) respectively starting in February without the continuation of humanitarian assistance.
  • Market supplies are regular and normal in November. Given the new, ongoing harvests, prices have lowered between September and October in almost all monitored markets. Nevertheless, compared to average, prices in October 2016 are more than 25 percent higher in Tillabéry for millet and in Zinder for sorghum given that a large part of the new harvest has yet to arrive on the markets.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for October 2016 to May 2017.

Nigeria
  • Borno State remains the center of on-going conflict involving Boko Haram groups. There are 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in the state and several areas remain inaccessible due to military operations. Many LGAs are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity and the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in inaccessible areas will remain high over the coming year. Several IDP concentrations are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) where assistance is likely to continue preventing Famine, but sustained humanitarian access is critical
  • Conflict and displacement are also continuing to impact food security outcomes in Adamawa and Yobe States. Madagali in Adamawa and Gujba and Gulani in Yobe are LGAs close to the Sambisa forest where households have been unable to engage in crop production and where there is limited access for humanitarian actors. In these LGAs, households continue to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, while other less affected LGAs in Northern Adamawa and rural Yobe will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through May 2017.
  • At the national level, average rainfall levels and an increase in the area planted during the 2016 cultivation season led to average to above-average main harvests across most of the country. Harvests between October and January are allowing household and market stocks to recover and prices decline. Despite seasonal price reductions, staple food prices remain significantly above last year and five-year average levels due to inflation and devaluation of the Naira.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from October 2016 to May 2017.

Liberia
  • Rice production levels are projected to be slightly below average during the 2016/17 agricultural year. Ministry of Agriculture reports suggest that dry conditions during upland planting in the northern, western and central areas, and localized flooding in the south-eastern areas affected yields. Despite this deficit, normal imported rice levels as well as plenty of cassava, and vegetable harvests will allow households to maintain normal food consumption and be in Minimal (IPC phase 1) acute food insecurity through January 2017.
  • Food access and purchasing power for poor households will likely be maintained through labor wages from farm rehabilitation and land preparations which have started for both the current off-season cropping and main season cultivation during 2017/18 agricultural year.  Additional incomes and food sources will include charcoal and palm oil sales in the upcoming the dry season, and the ongoing rice harvests through January/February 2017. 
  • Some poor rubber tappers and iron ore mine workers who have lost jobs and have diminished purchasing power due to atypically low international prices of these commodities, continue to face difficulties in accessing basic requirements. Pockets of these poor households across the country will be unable to maintain non-food needs and are expected to be in Stress (IPC phase 2) acute food insecurity through January 2017.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook for October 2016 to May 2017.

Sierra Leone
  • Peak harvests of main season crops including upland rice, cassava, sweet potato, and vegetables continues in most part of the country, allowing for increased food availability for poor households. Harvesting and sales of cocoa and coffee in the Eastern Region is also contributing to improved income for poor households. Almost all districts are expected remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity through January 2017.
  • Economic recovery following EVD in both Port Loko and Kailahun Districts has been slow due to a mix of residual shocks and macroeconomic issues. In Kailahun, commodity crop trade has been particularly affected, while the closure of two iron ore mines in Port Loko district has limited income opportunities. A 60 percent increase in the price of petrol in November is expected to further impact these districts, which will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity until January 2017. 
  • Household income is expected to improve from Jaunary through May 2017 across the country due to full economic recovery following average to above-average commodity and off-season crop harvests. Market functioning is expected to fully recover to normal levels with the onset of the dry season in November/ December and above-average income from sale of cash crops. All districts are expected be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity by January 2017.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook of October 2016 to May 2017.

Remote Monitoring Countries[1]

Central African Republic
  • Intercommunal tensions continue to disrupt food access and access to the main livelihoods of displaced households that OCHA estimated at 384,884 people on September 30th. A lean season that is earlier than normal by one to two months and is more difficult than usual is expected for the majority of households.
  • Gardening activities are in the stages of land preparation and seed distribution to poor households in conflict-affected areas. Nevertheless, delays in off-season seed distribution have been observed with only 7600 households of the 25,000 anticipated households being reached, resulting in expectations of reduced land planted and production.
  • According to the mVAM survey in September 2016, market functioning remains disrupted due to the deterioration of roads, increased transportation costs, and the irregularity of internal and cross-border trade flows. Food shortages have been observed in some markets like Zemio (Haut-Mbomou) and Bambari (Ouaka) with volatile and above-average prices that are causing poor purchasing powers for producer households.
  • Despite the improved food availabilities given the October and November harvests, the majority of households in conflict-affected zones of the northwest, southeast, and central-north (Ouham, Ouham Pende, Nana Gribizi, Vakaga) are facing below-average stocks and poor, atypical purchasing power. Observed and expected consumption deficits are contributing to acute food insecurity outcomes of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until the end of May 2017.

For more information, see the Remote Monitoring Update of October 2016 to May 2017.

Senegal
  • The seasonally typical decrease in cereal prices since the beginning of October is seen across the majority of the country. As a result of harvests in progress, the availability of products is increasing in markets. Prices for staple grains remain stable overall compared to the same time last year and also to the five year average. In the Sahelian zone, which is usually in deficit, only the Titao market shows an unusual increase in the price of millet by 22 percent compared to the five year average. 
  • Agricultural households, notably the poorest, have a normal daily diet from their own production. Sales of parts of their production, particularly cash crops (peanuts, Bambara groundnut, cowpeas, fonio and sweet potatoes) are bringing them near normal revenues. In addition, the startup of market garden activities and gold panning are also a sources of income for producers to strengthen and improve their diets and incomes, as usual, for the coming months. 
  • Livestock sales, particularly cattle and sheep, remains sluggish owing to the decline in external flows to the main purchasing countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire) partly as a result of the depreciation of the Naira and the CEDI. In the livestock markets of Dori, Djibo, and Gorom Gorom, ram prices have fallen by 5 to 11 percent compared to September 2015. Nevertheless, the physical state of livestock is good and there is resumption of internal trade. Although agricultural households do not currently purchase cereal for consumption, the terms of trade for livestock/cereals are in their favor.

For more information, see Food Security Outlook for October 2016 to May 2017l.

 

[1] With remote monitoring, an analyst typically works from a nearby regional office, relying on a network of partners for data. Compared to the previous series of countries in which FEWS NET has a local office, reports on remote monitoring countries may offer less detail.  

Events That Could Change the Outlook

Table 1: Possible events in the next eight months that could change the outlook

Area

Event

Impact on food security conditions

Central Bassin (Mali and Burkina Faso)

Atypical purchases of institutional stocks in the sub-region starting in January 2017

  • Strong increase of demand
  • Early seasonal increase of local cereal prices

Northern Mali, Northeast Nigeria, Central African Republic, neighboring countries

 

Worsening of civil insecurity

  • Increased number of displaced and refugees in neighboring countries
  • Border closure of neighboring countries
  • Interruption of trade flows, very weak supplies on local markets
  • Serious deterioration of household livelihoods
  • Localized humanitarian crises

Eastern and Central Bassin (Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali)

Improvement in values of Nigerian and Ghanaian currencies

  • Revival of livestock demand which will increase prices, particularly for bovines, above the five-year average
  • Increase of revenues for pastoral households

Mauritania, Senegal, Mali

Locust expansion

  • Declines in dry season production
  • Pasture destruction
  • Decreased revenues from the dry season agricultural work and from harvest sales

 

 

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming six months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.