Remote Monitoring Report

Household product remains the main food source in the Far-North, while households in the North-West and South-West rely more on markets

February 2019

February - May 2019

June - September 2019

IPC v3.0 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
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 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
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 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
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 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
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Despite above-average agricultural production, the income of poor households in the Far North continues to be negatively affected by conflict from Boko Haram and reduced trade with Nigeria. As a result, poor households are experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

  • Humanitarian food assistance continues for internally displaced persons in the South-West region helping to maintain Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). Meanwhile in the North-West, where assistance is less common, poor and displaced households have limited purchasing power are dependent on markets and face Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

  • In the coming months, markets are expected to remain well supplied in the Far North due to higher local production. On the other hand, in English-speaking regions, supply disruptions and high household dependency on markets will likely lead to unusual price increases, especially during the atypically long lean season from February to May.

REGION

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

National

  • The country hosts nearly 425,570 refugees and asylum-seekers. 60 percent are Central Africans residing in the Eastern and Adamawa regions and 32 percent are Nigerians based mainly in the Far North region (UNHCR, January 2019).
  • The continued violence of Boko Haram in Nigeria could increase the influx of Nigerian refugees, while the number of Central African refugees could decrease as a result of the ongoing stabilization process in the Central African Republic.

Far-North

  • Persistent insecurity due to Boko Haram in the departments of Mayo Tsanaga, Mayo Sava and Logone-and-Chari has resulted in the loss of life, livelihoods, and property since the beginning of the year.
  • Recent influx of 35,243 Nigerian refugees, in addition to 138,315 former refugees, 245,725 internally displaced persons and 105,906 returnees;

 

  • Nigerian refugees could continue to spread to neighboring areas of the region due to the upsurge in attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria who oppose the ongoing Nigerian elections and increased displacement during the dry season.
  • Changes in basic food prices are likely to follow the seasonal trends with prices below average;

 

 

Far- North

  • Cereal production around 45 percent above the five-year average and 34 and 20 percent below average prices for rainfed sorghum and maize, respectively.
  • Decrease in income from the sale of livestock, cash crops (peanuts, legumes, onions) and fisheries due to low prices and restricted trade with Nigeria.

North-West and South-West

  • A deterioration in the security situation marked by terror, kidnappings, destruction or closure of market infrastructure perpetrated by separatist forces;
  • Loss of employment and income from the exploitation and sale of export products, decline in fishing activity and livestock migration to the east.
  • Commodity prices are 20-40 percent higher than usual in urban markets due to low supply and additional demand from IDPs.
  • Restricted access to farms, fishing areas, and markets may continue due to existing curfews and security controls and threats posed by clashes between separatist groups and national security forces.
  • Abandonment of agricultural holdings is likely lead to a decrease in area planted of major crops in the coming season;
  • A longer lean season from February to May for host households and deteriorating food access for IDPs and poor households in urban centers.

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2018

Far-North

Except for the Nigerian refugees, most of the host households and IDPs live off their own production. Dry-season sorghum harvests are underway and are strengthening rainfed production. Overall, cereal production will increase by about 45 percent compared to the five-year average, according to estimates by the Regional Agricultural Service. This agricultural performance is linked to good recorded rainfall, support of producers through inputs, and an increase in cultivated area (by 23 percent) with the return of IDPs to their places of origin. 

Household market demand is expected to typically low until the usual lean season in June. The market supply of cereals, cash crops (peanuts and black-eyed peas) and vegetables (onions, potatoes) is higher than during a typical year due to below-average exports of agricultural products to Nigeria.  Rainfed sorghum and maize prices in in departmental market are down by 49 percent and 38 percent, respectively compared to the previous year, and 34 percent and 20 percent, respectively compared to the five-year average. Until the end of September, the projected sorghum prices in the Maroua market indicate prices will likely remain below the five-year average (Figure 1). On the other hand, although households are buying less on the market, livestock/cereal terms of trade are unfavorable, except for the Maroua market, the sale of a goat does not allow a farmer to buy a 100 kg bag of rainfed sorghum or maize.  Also, in certain areas, damage from elephants and hippopotamuses (in Mayo Danay and Mayo Sultan) and looting and destruction of crops and granaries by members of Boko Haram (Mayo Sava and Mayo Tsanaga) have adversely affect the availability of and access to food for households in these places.

In addition to the distribution of humanitarian food assistance to 55,000 refugees in the Minawao camp, nearly 23,000 refugees outside camps and IDPs in the Logone-et-Chari department received food rations for 15 days in January. Cash support for approximately 55,000 IDPs and returnees in the departments of Mayo Tsanaga, Logone-et-Chari and Mayo Sava is also planned and likely by humanitarian actors. Overall, self-production will be the main source of food for host households and IDPs until April.  Between May and August, host households’ dependence on markets will remain normal. Loss of animals, a decrease in the market for garden crops and declines in income from fishing activities dependent on exports to Nigeria will likely continue to be adversely affect household livelihoods. Cash transfers and below-average price levels will facilitate IDPs access to food, but will not likely be sufficient to improve livelihoods, nor change the IPC classification. Thus, until September, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will likely continue to affect poor host households and IDPs.

North-West and South-West

For the second consecutive season, some poor households in rural areas experienced a decline in production due to the deteriorating security situation, preventing them from accessing their fields and carrying out agricultural activities properly. They depended earlier than normal on markets for their food. In a typical year, from April households supplement their low cereal stocks by increasing their dependence on markets for the purchase of tubers. This year, they are not only buying tubers, but also cereals and increasing their consumption of forest products and wildlife. However, in many areas, market access is limited due to conflict, and households have difficulty accessing food. The lean season is anticipated to extend to May-June, due to the precipitation deficits at the beginning of the season could delay the first harvest of maize, peanuts, beans and leafy vegetables. The change in dietary habits and market dependency will likely continue until September if conflict continues to prevent households from accessing their fields.

Many IDPs live with host families in urban centers, which increases the vulnerability of these families in a context of slowing economic activity with its subsequent unemployment especially in the agri-food industry. The implementation of curfews, destruction of market infrastructure and recent 9-day blockade imposed by separatist movements are negatively affecting market supply. This is leading to a 20 to 40 percent increase in staple food prices compared to typical levels. Household economy in these two regions is linked to income from the sale of export products like coffee, cocoa, plantain, and palm oil, and the jobs created in these sectors. At the end of the main production season, cocoa bean prices fell by about 800 CFA per kg in the South-West, a decrease of about 30 percent since the start of the harvest in September. The main agricultural region in Cameroon, typically representing about 45 percent of national production now represents only 31 percent of cultivation due to the abandonment of farms and the slowing operation of export companies.

The crisis is also disrupting fishing around the Mongo and Mbonge rivers in the South-West and around rivers and dams in the North-West. To limit livestock losses, large livestock farmers have preferred to migrate to the West and Adamawa regions. Humanitarian food assistance is more prevalent in the South-West, where over the past two months it has reached about 49 percent of 246,000 IDPs and this region is in Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). In the North-West where there is little assistance, IDPs and host households face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Overall, the tense situation is expected to continue throughout the lean season and beyond through September, given households’ difficulties in accessing their fields and the gradual decline in purchasing power in both rural and urban areas.

About Remote Monitoring

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.

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 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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