Remote Monitoring Report

Continued poor pastoral conditions aggravate hardships for pastoral households

May 2015
2015-Q2-1-1-SN-en

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

  • Poor agropastoral households in central and northern areas of the country who experienced large shortfalls in their 2014/15 crop production and sharp reductions in their household incomes are currently resorting to atypical strategies and are facing food consumption deficits. As a result, these households are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity.

  • Pastoral conditions across the country are currently unusually poor. While different meteorological centers have conflicting outlooks for the upcoming rainy season, a late start-of-season, as predicted in forecasts by the PRESAO Forum, could delay the improvement in pastoral conditions which, in turn, could mean higher than usual livestock mortality rates. This would negatively affect household livelihoods and curtail food access.

  • Cumulative rainfall forecasts are also mixed at this time. According to the PRESAO Forum, there is a high probability of average to above-average rainfall. Meanwhile, forecasts by other organizations (ECMWF, NMME, IRI, and UK MET) indicate a higher probability of below-average rainfall. Given these inconsistencies, June updates to current forecast models will need to be closely monitored.

Zone

Current anomalies

Projected anomalies

National

  • Poor agropastoral households in central and northern areas of the country are currently in the midst of an earlier than usual lean season with the premature depletion of their food stocks and reduced incomes as a result of the poor crop yields in 2014.

  • The poor pastoral conditions in normal dry-season holding areas are creating physiological problems for livestock, sharply reducing milk production and income from livestock sales.

 

  • Distributions of humanitarian food assistance to 927,416 recipients and farm input assistance to poor households between May and August by the government and certain development partners will help lessen the severity of this year’s lean season for beneficiaries.
  • The possible delay in the improvement in pastoral conditions with the late start of the rainy season as predicted by the PRESAO Forum poses a higher than usual risk for livestock mortality. However, reinforcement of the livestock protection program « Opération de Sauvegarde du Bétail » with ARC funding will provide over 14,000 metric tons of animal feed and will help limit livestock losses in May-June and protect pastoral livelihoods.

Projected Outlook through September 2015

The approximately 20 percent below-average levels of cereal production and 50 percent below-average levels for peanuts, the country’s main cash crop, have contributed to reduced incomes of poor agropastoral households in central and northern areas of the country. The one-to-two-month earlier than usual depletion of household food stocks has engendered a need for extra income to adequately meet household food needs.

Production forecasts for off-season rice crops in the river valley are average to good. The expected harvests of these crops in June-July will help improve rice availability for households and on local markets. Average in-kind wages from work in these harvests will also improve food access for poor households in this area. In addition, preparations for the upcoming 2015-2016 growing season are already underway, providing food and income-earning opportunities for poor households engaging in these activities.

There are conflicting seasonal forecasts for the upcoming rainy season from different meteorological services (NOAA/CPC, IRI, ECMWF, UK MET, and the PRESAO Forum), some of which show an increased probability of below-average rainfall (NOAA/CPC, IRI, ECMWF, and UK MET), while others show an increased probability of above-average rainfall (PRESAO). The PRESAO Forum is also predicting that the 2015 rainy season will get off to a late start. If a delayed start to the rainy season or well-below-average rainfall levels did occur, it could curtail food access, reduce pastoral incomes and wage incomes from farm labor, and undermine overall food security outcomes.

The unusual deterioration in pastoral conditions as a result of the poor 2014 rains, particularly in the northern and west-central zones of the country, is triggering atypical herd movements to grazing areas with better pastoral conditions in the peanut basin and the southeastern part of the country. Such movements are tightening supplies on retail markets, driving up prices for livestock in general and sheep in particular by 15 percent in Dakar and 28 percent in Thiès. However, pursuit of the livestock protection program “Opération Sauvegarde du Bétail” (OSB) selling 14,000 metric tons of animal feed at subsidized prices 50 percent below market prices between May and June will give pastoralists access to needed animal feed supplies to ease livestock feeding problems.

In general, there is average to poor cereal availability in all parts of the country despite the fact that the marketing season for peanuts is winds down, which is typically a period where cereal market supplies increase. The seasonal rise in prices for locally grown cereal crops has become increasingly noticeable over the past month. In particular, prices have edged up from last month by anywhere from three percent in Kaolack to eight percent in Tambacounda. Market prices for millet are below average, except in Tambacounda and Dakar, where they are 10 percent above-average. In general, prices for regular broken rice, the cereal of choice for household consumption, have been stable since last month and are on par with the five-year average. However, despite these more or less average price levels, the shortfall in revenues from this year’s sales of crops and resulting decline in the incomes of poor agropastoral households are curtailing their food access.

Poor households with below-average incomes faced with an earlier than usual lean season are ramping up their agricultural and non-agricultural wage labor activities to atypically high levels, as preparations for the upcoming growing season get underway. Their unusually heightened reliance on borrowing and reductions in the quantity and quality of their food intake will drive up global acute malnutrition rates which, based on World Health Organization standards and according to the 2014 SMART survey, are already at critical levels of over 15 percent in the Saint Louis (15.3 percent) and Matam (19.3 percent) regions. While scheduled assistance from the government and certain partner organizations in the form of distributions of food rations and farm inputs between May and September 2015 will limit the use of negative coping strategies and enable recipients to make needed preparations for the start of the upcoming growing season in June, poor households in areas especially hard hit by the poor performance of the 2014 rainy season in central and northern areas of the country will face food consumption deficits in line with Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity. The availability of green crops in September, even if quantities are limited should the rainy season get off to a late start, will help reduce household food insecurity to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels between September and the main harvest season in October.

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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