Food Security Outlook Update

Household food stocks are generally adequate in the Sahelian region of Chad

February 2013

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

Key Messages

  • Household food stock levels in the Sahelian zone are currently above-average and should enable very poor and poor households to meet their food needs with few difficulties between now and the beginning of the lean season.

  • Despite good nationwide harvests, urban markets in southern areas of the country are only moderately well-stocked compared to normal due to the negative effects of recent floods and of local government bans on cereal exports. Unlike price trends in the Sahelian zone, food prices in the Sudanian zone are currently rising.

  • Overall, the food security situation is favorable due to the current level of household food stocks and the good availability of market garden crops in certain areas. Thus, all livelihood zones will be facing Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes between now and June 2013.

Current Situation

  • Conditions in agricultural areas: The main agricultural activities for farmers in berbéré or flood-irrigated sorghum-producing areas (Salamat, Guera, Batha, and parts of Chari-Baguirmi) during the month of February were harvesting, threshing, and storing crops.
  • Conditions in pastoral areas: Livestock food and health conditions are currently stable. Compared to December 2012, supply at livestock markets is down considerably. This low supply is due to pastoralists rebuilding their livestock herds after last year's poor pastoral season. Despite low supply, livestock prices have dropped since December due to a decline in demand after the end of the year holidays. For example, prices for sheep in Abéché and Moundou are down 17 and 14 percent, respectively, compared to December.
  • Farm labor: There is a growing seasonal demand for labor in berbéré (flood-irrigated sorghum) production areas for harvesting and threshing activities. This year’s demand for labor is greater than normal due to an exceptionally large area planted in this crop this year. As a result, wages are high. For example, the cost of labor for harvesting and threshing activities in Am-timan is currently 5,000 FCFA per worker per day, which compares to 2,000 FCFA at the same time last year.
  • Household cereal stocks: In general, current household cereal stock levels are adequate with the exception of provinces with deficit cereal production and flood-affected areas of the Sudanian zone.
  • Markets and trade: Cereal trade between the Sudanian and Sahelian zones is relatively low compared to normal seasonal trends due to good cereal availability on markets in the Sahelian zone and local government bans on cereal exports. Despite the border closure between Chad and Libya, households in the BET area still have normal food access and have not yet made any changes in their eating habits.
  • Market prices: Good cereal availability in the Sahelian zone has caused prices to decline. For example, the price of pearl millet on the N’Djamena market dropped by 14 percent between January and February of this year, putting it 19.23 percent below the five-year average. Similarly, February prices for pearl millet in Abéché were nine percent lower than at the same time last year but at levels similar to the five-year average. On the other hand, low market supply of cereals in the Sudanian zone has driven pearl millet prices upwards. For example, prices at the Sarh and Moundou markets were 28 percent and 30 percent above the five-year average.
  • Institutional procurements: Institutional procurements have already taken place in certain areas of Batha and Lac and may continue in Guera and Am-timan with the good berbéré harvest there.   
  • Current food security situation: The overall food security situation is good due to a sufficient availability of cereals and other food crops (oilseeds, pulses, and tubers) which is enabling households to meet food needs. Income-generating opportunities from other income sources, such as construction, market gardening, crafts, and brick-laying activities, are better than they were at this time last year, strengthening household purchasing power. An analysis of current acute food insecurity outcomes shows that all regions of the country are currently facing Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity. 

Updated Assumptions

The current situation has not affected the assumptions used to develop FEWS NET's most likely scenario for the period of January through June 2013. A full discussion of the scenario is available in the most recent Food Security Outlook.  

Projected Outlook through June 2013

The food security outlook is favorable due to good household cereal availability. Households should be able to meet their basic food needs between now and May without resorting to any coping strategies, keeping them at Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity throughout this period. As of the beginning of the lean season (June), less than 20 percent of households in flood-affected areas of the Sudanian zone and parts of the Sahelian zone will have difficulty meeting their food needs as their food stocks will be depleted. However at which point, these households will engage in their normal livelihood strategies to meet their needs and will continue to face Minimal/None (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity.

About this Update

This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. 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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