Food Security Outlook

Les conditions alimentaires restent globalement favorables sauf dans les zones de conflit

February 2019 to September 2019

February - May 2019

June - September 2019

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
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

  • Throughout most agricultural and agropastoral areas, agricultural production is good and has resulted in high levels of stocks of households’ main food sources. In localized areas with agricultural production deficits, poor households are managing to meet their food and non-food needs, but only by using strategies that put pressure on livelihoods, placing them in Stressed food insecurity (IPC Phase 2).

  • Livestock are benefiting from good availability of fodder and are currently in good physical condition, which is conducive to improved market value and adequate food access for households. However, the low nutritional value of the fodder available in some pockets in Diffa is leaving their livestock in poor condition and fueling low prices, requiring households to sell more livestock than normal to obtain sufficient food.

  • In the northern areas of the Tillabéri region, insecurity and the cereal deficit are disrupting markets and cereal flows, and also restricting access to livelihoods. Food security for the majority of households is Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and may reach Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to increasing security measures, which are limiting households’ access to resources and limiting humanitarian access.

  • In the Diffa region, households affected by the ongoing conflict continue to depend on the food assistance provided. This is enabling most households to meet their food needs and remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) throughout February 2019 and in the coming months.

National Overview

Current situation

Rainfall through September/October allowed crops to complete their growth cycle normally throughout most of the country. Provisional estimates by the Agricultural Statistics Office put cereal production at around 6 million tons, which is an increase of more than 10 percent compared with the five-year average (Figure 1). If stock reserves, imports and food aid are added to this national production, there is a cereal surplus of almost 700,000 tons, or apparent availability of 268 kg per person per year, compared with an average need of 231 kg per person per year.

However, climatic constraints such as excess moisture on crops sown late have impacted agricultural production in some agricultural and agropastoral areas in Magaria and Tesker (Zinder region), Mayahi and Bermo (Maradi region), Abalak, Bouza, Tchintabaraden and Tillia (Tahoua region), Torodi, Ouallam and Ayorou (Tillabéri region).

Good fodder production has also been recorded, with an estimated surplus of over 3 million tons of dry matter, equivalent to 113 percent of the fodder needs estimated by the Department of Agricultural Development. Livestock movements are currently normal and the main watering holes are sufficiently full. However, poor-quality fodder has been reported in some parts of the pastoral area, particularly in the pastoral band of the Diffa region, where poor pasture quality has already caused the physical condition of livestock to deteriorate.

As regards markets, food conditions and supplies are satisfactory, thanks to the end of new harvests and ongoing sales. However, according to the results of the recent joint market assessment carried out by the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), FEWS NET, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Markets Information System (SIM), the supply of cereals is limited compared with last year and the five-year average, due to low local, commercial and institutional demand. Prices for cereals and cash crops are showing an overall downward trend. The export of cowpeas and livestock to Nigeria, which represents the largest economic opportunity for Niger’s markets, are being negatively affected by the situation in Nigeria and the country’s dominating presidential and legislative elections. This is translating into lower prices for cowpeas and livestock, at a time when producers and livestock farmers need to sell their products to rebuild their grain stocks (Figures 2 and 3).

The provisional results of the nutrition survey conducted in October 2018 estimated the national prevalence of global acute malnutrition among children aged 6–59 months at 15 percent (95 percent CI: 13.6–16.6) according to the weight-for-height index expressed as a z-score of < -2 and/or edema. Regions with prevalence above the national average are: Maradi (15.7 percent, 95 percent CI: 12.0–19.9), Maradi (16.7 percent, 95 percent CI: 11.8–20.5), Tahoua (16.4 percent, 95 percent CI: 13.3–20.2) and Zinder (19.2 percent, 95 percent CI: 16.2–22.6). With relatively stable food insecurity and morbidity, the nutritional situation is similar to the seasonal average.

Due to good agricultural and pastoral conditions and good water supplies for dry season agricultural production, households’ livelihoods and main sources of income are based on agricultural, animal, forest and horticultural products. Households are exerting a normal amount of pressure on these livelihoods to access food supplies, thanks to favorable terms of trade. Poor households are selling straw and wood at average prices, with market gardening labor providing an estimated income of XOF 1,500 to 2,000 per day, which is similar to the average.

Security crises are ongoing, with terrorist actions of armed groups in the border countries of Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso resulting in attacks and intercommunity conflicts in the Diffa, Tillabéri and Tahoua regions. These continuing security pressures, and the security measures in place, are causing the deterioration of markets and livelihoods, as well as population displacements, with an estimated 250,000 people displaced in the Diffa region and 150,000 people in the Tillabéri and Tahoua regions, according to assessments carried out by United Nations organizations. 

Overall, food security is considered Minimal (IPC Phase 1), but the situation is worse in areas experiencing conflicts with armed groups and intercommunity tensions, which are hampering food security and household livelihoods.

Assumptions

The most likely food security situation for February to September 2019 is based on the following underlying assumptions regarding the trends in nationwide conditions:

  • The results of the preliminary forecast analyses indicate a normal start to the next rainy season in May/June 2019, with average cumulative rainfall.
  • Thanks to good water availability and support from the Government and its partners, dry season agricultural production will be normal from February to April/May 2019 with average output expected, which will contribute to household income and food diversification.
  • Cereal stocks from the 2018/19 agricultural harvests will allow agricultural and agropastoral households to consume and meet their food needs for a period similar to usual, except in areas of deficit, where a significant decline in cereal reserves will be observed as normal.
  • Cereals imports from Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali will continue, which will help maintain adequate market supplies in almost every part of the country. The supply of cereals on the markets will be sufficient between February and September 2019, but will be constrained by insecurity in Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso, which will disrupt flows of cereal imports, especially in the Diffa, Tillabéri and Tahoua regions.
  • The supply of livestock and market garden crops will follow the normal trend from February to September 2019 thanks to a favorable food situation.
  • Demand for cereals and horticultural products will follow its normal seasonal pattern in February to September 2019.
  • Demand for livestock and cash crops will be affected by the adverse situation created by armed and intercommunity conflicts, which are disrupting flows and limiting the presence of and procurement by exporting traders.
  • Overall, cereal prices on markets will be lower than in 2018/19 and similar to the five-year average. However, in some areas, including those affected by armed conflict, above-average prices will be observed from April to September 2019.
  • Labor migration will take place as normal and workers will return in April/May 2019 with average incomes, due to stable sociopolitical situations in the host countries that offer migrants employment opportunities.
  • Household incomes will be average and generated from the sale of market gardening labor, straw and wood from February to April 2019, the sale of agricultural labor for the winter season in mid-September, and the sale of livestock for Ramadan and Tabaski festivals in June/July and August/September.
  • The nutritional situation is expected to develop more or less in line with the seasonal average, with periodic deterioration related to diseases such as meningitis and cholera from February to April/May and malaria from June/July to September, as well as the food situation toward the beginning of the lean season from March to June (pastoral areas) and June to September (agricultural areas).
  • The security situation in the country is expected to deteriorate, particularly in the Diffa, Tillabéri and Tahoua regions, where an increase in the number of displaced persons may be observed from February to September 2019.
  • Flooding will occur in July and August, which will impact the livelihoods of populations in river valleys.
Most likely food security outcomes

Overall, food security conditions indicate that accessing food will have limited pressure on livelihoods from February to May 2019. However, this is expected to change from June to September 2019, when strategies that pressurize livelihoods will be needed to meet food consumption needs. This implies that Minimal overall food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) from February to May will become Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from June to September in Ouallam, Torodi, Abalak, Tchintabaraden, Mayahi, Magaria, Doungass, Ngourty, Nguigmi and Bilma. There will, however, be areas where some populations have Crisis or Stressed food security (IPC Phases 2 and 3) from February to May and more so from June to September 2019, due to the ongoing insecurity crises.

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 eight 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 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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