FAO GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

S P E C I A L   R E P O R T

FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SECURITY ASSESSMENT MISSION

TO SOUTHERN SUDAN

12 January 2011

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Mission Highlights

  • With generally favourable rains and relatively few outbreaks of pests and diseases, cereal production, in the traditional sector, in 2010, is estimated at 695 000 tonnes, about 28.5 percent above the revised post-harvest estimates in 2009, when crops were severely affected by dry weather conditions.
  • Localised dry spells last May and June as well as floods in August and September have affected yields in some areas
  • Animal body conditions are satisfactory due to improved availability of pasture and water; fishery is expected to yield above average catches this year.
  • Cereal prices have generally declined in the third quarter of 2010, while livestock prices were on the rise, signifying that the terms of trade are now more favourable to pastoralists.
  • Prices of staples have started to increase slowly in some areas, following uncertainties related to the referendum for self determination in Southern Sudan; the expected returnee population is also likely to add pressure on local food markets.
  • With a 2011 projected population of 9.16 million, an overall cereal deficit of about 291 000 tonnes is estimated until next harvest towards the end of 2011.
  • The estimated cereal deficit might increase to about 339 000 tonnes, with the 400 000 people, expected to return to Southern Sudan to participate in the referendum.
  • The overall food security situation has improved markedly in 2010 compared to the previous year. However, food security prospects are highly dependent on events related to the referendum and post-referendum period. Recent gains, especially in the States bordering Northern Sudan, could be reversed due to increasing food prices and escalation of localized conflicts.
  • Currently an estimated 890 000 people are severely food insecure and an additional 2.4 million people are moderately food insecure.
  • In the best-case scenario, food assistance requirements are estimated at 86 000 tonnes of food (including 66 000 tonnes of cereals) to assist a monthly average of 816 000 beneficiaries. In the event of disruptions, food assistance requirements may increase to 132 000 tonnes (including 102 000 tonnes of cereals) to assist a monthly average of 1.14 million beneficiaries. Assistance will be provided to severely food insecure rural households, vulnerable children, IDPs, refugees and returnees.
  • The number of beneficiaries is expected to rise gradually during the year, reaching around 1.4 million in the best scenario case or 2.7 million beneficiaries during the peak of the malnutrition and beginning of the lean season.

1. OVERVIEW

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) visited Southern Sudan from 18 October to 12 November 2010 to estimate cereal production and assess the overall food-security situation. The Mission included representatives from the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF), the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC), the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation (SSCCSE) FEWS/NET, EC/JRC, FAO and WFP. The Mission held meetings with officials of various ministries including the MoAF, the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF), SSRRC, SSCCSE as well as UN and other international agencies. Location-specific information was obtained from relevant state and local authorities such as the SSRRC, the state Ministries of Agriculture (SMoA) and NGOs. The Mission benefited from the findings of the mid-season Rapid Crop Assessment (RCA) by GoSS, MoAF, SSRRC, SSCCSE, FAO and WFP, the 2009 and 2010 Annual Needs and Livelihood Assessments (ANLA), the 2009 National Household Budget Survey and the Situation Analysis of Nutrition in Southern Sudan.

The Mission, comprising five teams, visited 35 counties in all ten states of Southern Sudan (see Annex I). Information obtained from State MoAF, farmers, herder, fishers, traders, NGOs and international agencies was triangulated with field observations during visits to rural communities and individual farms. Rainfall estimates and NDVI provided by EC/JRC for 2010 were compared with local rain-gauge data and accounts of rainfall provided by farmers and other informants. The Mission carried out direct market observations in the main centres and also had access to WFP’s database of market prices. The Mission received invaluable support (both technical and logistical) from the Sudan Institutional Capacity Programme Food Security for Action (SIFSIA) project, the FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordination Unit (ERCU) in Juba and the WFP’s Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit.

In accordance with the approach adopted in previous years, the Mission’s calculation of cereal production was based on estimates of three variables: (1) estimates of the numbers of farm households in each county; (2) standard estimates of the average area per farm household under cereals for each county, adjusted according to Mission observations made during field visits; and (3) estimates of average cereal yield for each county. The product of these three factors gives a cereal production figure for each county. These county figures are then added to provide cereal production figures for each of the ten states and for Southern Sudan as a whole.

Although some progress has been made in data availability, especially through the FAO SIFSIA project, the weakness of some of the data used means that the final production figures should not be regarded as necessarily exact but rather as best estimates under the prevailing circumstances. The Mission stresses the need to conduct a rigorous agricultural survey to establish a solid baseline on crop production.

Crop growing conditions were generally good in 2010. Rainfall started on time in April/May in most locations and rainfall levels were normal to above normal and generally well distributed in most parts of Southern Sudan, Localised dry spells ranging from 2 to 4 weeks were experienced in Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap and Jonglei States. In August and September, localized floods affected crops and settlements in Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Warrap and Lakes States.

Insecurity remains among the key factors that negatively affected crop production in 2010. The general elections conducted in April 2010 and the preparations for January 9, 2011 referendum on self-determination have not raised major security concerns. However, continued rebel activities, tribal armed conflicts and sustained tensions over borders affected farming and husbandry activities.

The estimated area harvested from cereals has increased by 8 percent as compared to last year. An estimated 921 000 hectares were harvested in 2010 compared to about 852 000 hectares in 2009. Average cereal yield is estimated at 0.95 tonne/ha, representing a 16 percent increase as compared to 0.82 tonne/ha in 2009. Net cereal production, after deduction of post-harvest losses and seed use, is estimated to have increased by 28.5 percent as compared to last year’s post-harvest revised figure, from 541 000 tonnes in 2009 to 695 000 tonnes in 2010.

With uncertainties pertaining to the forthcoming referendum, supply of grains mainly from Northern Sudan, but also to a lesser extent from Uganda and Kenya, is expected to decline substantially. Grain stocks are already declining in some border areas and reduced supplies will result in increased prices. In addition, a large number of returnees to Southern Sudan are anticipated with the referendum. Approximately 400 000 people have already registered to return from Northern Sudan. Returnees are expected to further increase the pressure on local food market supplies.

With a 2011 projected population of 9.16 million people, an overall cereal deficit of about 291 000 tonnes is estimated in 2011. However, with a forecast of 400 000 people returning mainly from Northern Sudan to vote in the South Sudan self-determination referendum and considering a need of about 12 000 tonnes of cereals for every 100 000 returnees, the estimated deficit is expected to increase to 339 000 tonnes.

The current food security situation has improved markedly compared to the previous year. However, an estimated 890 000 people (9.7 percent of total population) are currently severely food insecure and an additional 2.4 million people (26 percent) are moderately food insecure. Last year, in comparison, 21 percent were severely food insecure and 32 percent moderately food insecure. Main causes of food insecurity this year include floods, civil insecurity and high food prices. The five states worst off are Eastern Equatoria, Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes and Jonglei.

The general positive trend is reflected in improved food consumption, increased reliance on own production as food source, reduced share on food expenditure, increased reliance on reliable and sustainable income sources and reduced use of negative coping strategies such as reducing number of meals and distress sales of livestock. However, despite this positive trend, nearly every second household continues to have a diet that lacks dietary diversity and energy.

Future prospects highly depend on how the referendum and post-referendum periods evolve. Recent gains could easily be reversed due to the following risk factors: increasing food prices due to reduced trade flows and increased demand from returnees, a potential escalation of localized conflicts in the border areas, and potential increases of ethnic and intertribal tensions. Most vulnerable are the states bordering Northern Sudan.

In the best-case scenario, the Mission estimated food assistance requirements at 86 000 tonnes of food (including 66 000 tonnes of cereals) to assist a monthly average of 816 000 beneficiaries. In the contingency scenario, food assistance requirements are estimated at 132 000 tonnes of food (including 102 000 tonnes of cereals) to assist a monthly average of 1.14 million beneficiaries. The number of beneficiaries is expected to rise gradually during the year and peak in April/May at the beginning of the lean season, reaching around 1.4 million beneficiaries in the best-case scenario or 2.7 million beneficiaries in the contingency scenario. Assistance will be provided in particular to severely food insecure rural households, vulnerable children, IDPs, refugees and returnees. In the contingency scenario also moderately food insecure households in states bordering Northern Sudan will be targeted.

2. SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT

2.1 General

Southern Sudan has an area of approximately 640 000 square km. The waters of the White Nile and its tributaries flow down from the highlands of Uganda, Congo, the Central African Republic and Ethiopia into the low clay basin that constitutes much of southern Sudan, forming the world’s largest contiguous swamp. According to the results of the 2008 Population and Housing Census of Sudan, Southern Sudan has a total population of 8.27 million. Population density is one of the lowest in sub-tropical countries, with on average only 13.5 inhabitants per square km.

Southern Sudan shares the Sudanese pound with the rest of the country since its adoption as the national currency in 2007. This common currency and the fact that Southern Sudan’s budget is almost entirely dependent on the share of oil revenue it receives from the central Government imply that Southern Sudan’s macroeconomic situation should be viewed through that of the country as a whole.

Economic growth in Sudan weakened in 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis. Overall real GDP growth is estimated to have decelerated to 4.5 percent compared to 6.8 percent in 2008. The economic downturn was broad-based, with the exception of a small increase in oil production. In 2010, GDP growth is early forecasted at 5.5 percent essentially due to higher international oil prices. Oil revenues account for over 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings and 60 percent of central Government revenues. In the case of Southern Sudan, it represents about 98 percent of revenues. 1

The account deficit reached 11.5 percent of GDP in 2009 as the decline in import bill was not sufficient to compensate for the fall in oil receipts. In addition, weaker than-expected remittances and foreign direct investment as well as the continued liquidity support by the central bank contributed to keep country’s finances under pressure. Foreign exchange reserves dropped from average USD 1.4 billion in both 2007 and 2008 to low USD 900 million in 2009, worth only one month of next year’s import coverage.2

The Sudanese pound (SDG) depreciated sharply in mid-2010, particularly on the black market, mainly as a consequence of scarcity of foreign exchange and political uncertainty due to the forthcoming referendum on southern independence. In September 2010, the official exchange rate was about SDG 2.48 for USD 1, while in the black-market rate in Southern Sudan was SDG 3.15 for USD 1.

Overall inflation averaged 11.2 percent in 2009 and is forecast to stay high at about 10 percent for 2010 as the depreciating Sudanese pound increases imported inflation. In Southern Sudan, according to the annual survey conducted by the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation (SSCCSE), the Juba consumer price index increased by 6.5 percent between October 2009 and October 2010 and by 13.6 percent in the case of food and non alcoholic beverages.3

In Southern Sudan, total expenditure for 2010 is estimated at about SDG 6.3 billion, including SDG 4.5 billion by the approved GoSS budget and about SDG 1.8 billion by donor organizations’ funding.4 The Security and Infrastructure (mainly roads) sectors are expected to receive the greatest amount of funding, while the Natural Resources sector (that includes Agriculture & Forestry, Animal Resources & Fisheries, Cooperatives & Rural Development, Wildlife Conservation & Tourism, and land Commission) will account to 6.7 percent of total. However, if analysing the breakdown of the 2010 GoSS budget for Natural Resources, not considering donors’ projects, only about SDG 72 million are earmarked for agriculture, forestry, animal resources and fishery which represents a share of only 1.6 percent of GoSS own expenditure. In addition, as in past years, about 65 percent of this limited budget is expected to be spent on salaries and operating costs, leaving only 35 percent for capital expenditures.

Table 1 – Southern Sudan 2010 expenditure by funding sources and by sectors (million SDG)

Sector GoSS budget Donors’ funds Total %
Accountability 157.5 52.2 209.6 3.4
Economic functions 164.5 60.4 224.9 3.6
Education 323.5 126.3 449.9 7.2
Health 189.4 406.3 595.7 9.5
Infrastructure 601.9 374.1 976.0 15.6
Natural resources 217.0 200.9 417.9 6.7
Public administration 571.6 112.3 683.8 10.9
Rule of law 487.9 76.5 564.4 9.0
Security 1 145.8 304.9 1 450.8 23.2
Social & humanitarian 99.0 58.6 157.5 2.5
Transfers to States 524.7   524.7 8.4
Total 4 482.8 1 772.4 6 255.3 100.0

2.2 Agriculture

Southern Sudan experiences unimodal and bimodal rainfall regimes, the bimodal areas covering much of Greater Equatoria (Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria) while the unimodal areas characterize the rest of the country. This results in a range of growing seasons from 280-300 days in the southern parts of Southern Sudan to 130-150 days per annum in the northern parts. Agricultural performance consequently varies considerably from place to place and from year to year, ranging from the possibility of two harvests per annum in Greater Equatoria between Tambura and Kejo-Keji, to one harvest in the unimodal areas further north.

With over 95 percent of agricultural production being rain-fed, weather variability is a major factor in determining crops performance. In lowland areas, flood is normal occurrence but variability of the water levels affect harvested area and yields. Agriculture is for the most part based on small, hand-cultivated units often farmed by women-headed households. Despite land availability for farming, manual land preparation limits the area households can cultivate. Making use of animal traction would allow household to cultivate larger plots and plant in line to ease weeding. The GoSS, FAO and NGO-based extension agents make efforts to promote animal traction on a small-scale in Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Lakes, Warrap and Bahr el Ghazal States. In addition to social and cultural barriers, lack of spare parts and skills to maintain moult-board ploughs and adaptability of ploughs model to local soil conditions are the main constraints. Mechanized farming is practiced mainly in the Upper Nile counties of Renk, Melut and Wadakona and to a limited extent in Malakal and Bentiu in Unity State. The GoSS purchased various models of tractors and distributed to each of the ten states with the objective of encouraging the mechanization of land preparation and other field operations. The tractors are, in principle, availed for hire by farmers, farmer groups and cooperatives, at a cost ranging from 50 to 240 SDG/feddan for land preparation. Over 400 tractors have been distributed to the states since 2005. Given the limited infrastructures on the ground, there are concerns regarding the capacity to maintain these tractors operational locally.

Sorghum is the main crop cultivated in Southern Sudan with a wide range of local landraces. It is the main staple food in all States, except for the three Equatorias where local diet is also based on maize flour (largely imported from Uganda) and cassava (mainly in the Green Belt). In Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap and Lakes, sorghum is often intercropped with sesame and millet. Maize is normally cultivated in limited areas, close to homesteads and often used for green consumption. In some locations where Quelea quelea birds pressure are particularly high such as in Upper Nile, maize is cultivated in larger plots, instead of sorghum, provided soil is suitable. Minor cereal crops such as bulrush millet, finger millet and upland rice are also cultivated in certain locations. Groundnut is cultivated on sandy soils in most locations and makes an important contribution to household diet and is the main cash crop which contributes to farming household income at certain period of the year. In parts of Central and Western Equatoria, sweet potato, yam, coffee, mango and papaya are commonly grown. Okra, cowpea, green-gram, pumpkin and tobacco are also widely grown around homesteads. Vegetables such as onions or tomatoes are not commonly grown in rural areas, but are increasingly cultivated near cities to supply urban markets.

3. CEREAL PRODUCTION IN 2010

In the absence of a permanent agriculture statistical system, cereal production has been assessed using estimates of the following three variables: (1) estimates of the numbers of farm households in each county; (2) standard estimates of the average area per farm household under cereals for each county, adjusted according to Mission observations made during field visits; and (3) estimates of average cereal yield for each county. The product of these three factors gives a cereal production figure for each county. These county figures are then added to provide cereal production figures for each of the ten states and for Southern Sudan as a whole. The possible weakness of some of these estimated data means that the final production figures should not be regarded as necessarily exact, but rather as best estimates under the prevailing circumstances.

It is important to highlight that some progress has been recently achieved in developing baseline data required to undertake rigorous agriculture statistical surveys. In particular, the new Land Cover Database has been provided by the FAO SIFSIA project and it has been used by the Mission to triangulate earlier estimates. The recently published 2009 National Baseline Household Survey (NBHS) has provided new and more accurate data on per capita food consumption rates.

Using information gathered during the field work on post-harvest 2009 yields and comparing them with current yields, the Mission revised 2009 cereal production that was put at about 541 000 tonnes, about 18 percent lower than previous estimates. At the same time, the Mission recalculated consumption using the new higher NBHS consumption rates. Result of the new figures was a revised cereal deficit for marketing year 2010, with a volume of about 410 000 tonnes compared to previous estimate of 334 000 tonnes. Food aid imports in 2010 (from January to September) have been 136 000 tonnes, out of which approximately three quarters are cereals.

3.1 Cereal harvested area estimates

The number of farming households in each county are estimated primarily from the 2008 census data, which include numbers of households (both rural and urban) per county. Census figures have been adjusted for mid-2010 on the assumption of a population growth rate of 2.052 percent per annum. Numbers of returnees (IDPs and refugees) per state have been updated from last year figures based on information provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and SSRRC. The figures used for the proportion of farming households in each county have been developed over the past several years by FAO, WFP and others on the basis of extensive observations and interviews. Likewise, the average harvested area under cereals per farming household in each county has been developed over several years and is adjusted each year on the basis of information gathered through field observations, measurements and interviews.

The Mission estimates total cereal area in 2010 at 920 798 hectares, about 8 percent above last year’s figure. Table 2 presents the breakdown of area cultivated by States and counties. This year, beside some dry spells areas, above average and generally well distributed rainfall have been the main drivers to increased area under crop cultivation. In some areas, early rainfall allowed farmers to start planting earlier than normal which resulted in more land cultivated than last year. Increased utilisation of tractors in all States and progresses made in the use of animal traction/ox-plough is positively influencing area cultivated. Improved security as compared to last year also contributed to increased area under crop cultivation, although insecurity remains a major concern in some areas.

Table 2 – Estimated settled population, farming households and cereal harvested area in 2010

STATE/COUNTY Population mid-2010 Households mid 2010 Percentage of farming households Farming households mid-2010 Average cereal area (ha/hh) Total cereal area (ha)
Central Equatoria 1 199 805 194 883 66 1 281 47 0.99 126 706
Returnees 45 543 7 591 50 3 795 0.50 1 898
Juba 389 512 61 122 50 30 561 0.85 25 977
Kajo Keji 205 440 34 047 90 30 642 1.10 33 706
Lainya 93 416 14 626 60 8 776 1.05 9 214
Morobo 108 360 16 430 60 9 858 1.05 10 351
Terekeka 146 842 26 247 90 23 622 1.00 23 622
Yei 210 692 34 821 60 20 892 1.05 21 937
Eastern Equatoria 965 819 163 930 74 121 252 0.85 103 362
Returnees 18 089 3 015 77 2 321 0.60 1 393
Budi 103 754 17 543 90 15 789 0.80 12 631
Ikotos 88 536 17 280 90 15 552 0.95 14 774
Kapoeta East 171 527 30 793 50 15 396 0.95 14 627
Kapoeta North 107 817 16 707 50 8 354 0.95 7 936
Kapoeta South 83 119 12 393 50 6 197 0.95 5 887
Lafon 111 035 17 987 85 15 289 0.80 12 231
Magwi 177 623 27 480 90 24 732 0.80 19 786
Torit 104 319 20 732 85 17 622 0.80 14 098
Jonglei 1 448 158 205 788 82 168 928 0.84 142 705
Returnees 27 178 4 530 78 3 533 0.60 2 120
Akobo 142 464 18 526 80 14 821 0.85 12 598
Ayod 145 677 17 661 90 15 895 0.85 13 511
Bor South 231 258 32 794 80 26 235 0.85 22 300
Duk 68 599 10 712 90 9 641 0.85 8 195
Fangak 115 186 15 241 90 13 717 0.85 11 659
Khorflus/Pigi 103 617 12 512 90 11 261 0.85 9 572
Nyirol 113 664 15 971 90 14 374 0.85 12 218
Pibor 155 292 23 785 50 11 893 0.85 10 109
Pochalla 69 241 10 925 80 8 740 0.85 7 429
Twic East 89 268 15 036 90 13 532 0.85 11 503
Uror 186 715 28 095 90 25 286 0.85 21 493
Lakes 790 972 107 112 87 92 902 0.82 76 402
Returnees 63 299 10 550 82 8 651 0.50 4 325
Awerial 49 201 7 824 90 7 042 0.70 4 929
Cueibet 123 162 18 077 95 17 173 0.75 12 880
Rumbek Centre 160 600 17 589 80 14 071 1.00 14 071
Rumbek East 128 472 16 226 80 12 981 1.00 12 981
Rumbek North 45 403 5 180 80 4 144 1.00 4 144
Wulu 42 412 6 816 95 6 475 0.80 5 180
Yirol East 70 497 9 384 90 8 446 0.80 6 756
Yirol West 107 928 15 465 90 13 918 0.80 11 135
N Bahr el Ghazal 831 014 152 531 86 131 777 0.60 79 355
Returnees 77 017 12 836 58 7 445 0.50 3 722
Aweil Centre 43 747 9 498 30 2 849 0.55 1 567
Aweil East 324 151 59 488 95 56 514 0.60 33 908
Aweil North 135 056 26 035 95 24 733 0.60 14 840
Aweil South 77 195 14 697 80 11 758 0.70 8 230
Aweil West 173 849 29 977 95 28 478 0.60 17 087
Unity 650 715 80 666 77 61 760 0.64 39 702
Returnees 38 018 6 336 65 4 119 0.60 2 471
Abiemnhom 17 793 1 889 80 1 511 0.55 831
Guit 34 519 3 380 80 2 704 0.75 2 028
Koch 78 300 8 320 90 7 488 0.50 3 744
Leer 55 456 7 367 80 5 894 0.60 3 536
Mayendit 56 252 6 911 90 6 220 0.75 4 665
Mayom 126 257 15 915 80 12 732 0.70 8 912
Panyijar 53 052 9 074 90 8 167 0.50 4 083
Pariang 86 228 10 941 70 7 659 0.75 5 744
Rubkona 104 838 10 531 50 5 266 0.70 3 686
Upper Nile 1 015 392 150 105 67 100 560 0.77 77 790
Returnees 6 763 1 127 60 676 0.50 338
Baliet 50 214 7 591 80 6 073 0.65 3 947
Fashoda 38 195 6 168 90 5551 0.80 4 441
Longochuk 66 066 8 658 80 6 926 0.60 4 156
Luakpiny/Nasir 219 644 30 363 80 24 290 0.55 13 360
Maban 47 315 10 280 80 8 224 0.60 4 935
Maiwut 83 110 10 958 80 8 766 0.60 5 260
Malakal 132 290 17 668 50 8 834 0.50 4 417
Manyo 39 755 6 682 90 6 014 0.84 5 052
Melut 51 503 7 434 38 2 825 2.00 5 650
Panyikang 47 513 7 602 50 3 801 0.55 2 090
Renk 144 076 23 524 38 8 939 2.00 17 878
Ulang 88 949 12 050 80 9 640 0.65 6 266
W Bahr el Ghazal 360 145 63 289 79 49 879 0.75 37 495
Returnees 11 108 1 851 68 1 258 0.50 629
Jur River 133 751 21 742 60 13 045 0.75 9 784
Raga 56 883 10 676 75 8 007 0.80 6 406
Wau 158 402 29 019 95 27 569 0.75 20 676
Warrap 1 049 891 182 676 89 161 702 0.78 125 612
Returnees 31 426 5 238 83 4 347 0.45 1 956
Abyei 55 358 8 266 80 6 612 0.65 4 298
Gogrial East 108 117 19 385 80 15 508 0.85 13 182
Gogrial West 255 337 47 093 80 37 674 0.85 32 023
Tonj East 121 557 20 676 95 19 643 0.80 15 714
Tonj North 172 955 31 078 95 29 524 0.75 22 143
Tonj South 90 645 15 221 95 14 460 0.75 10 845
Twic 214 495 35 721 95 33 935 0.75 25 451
Western Equatoria 661 696 124 063 88 108 922 1.03 111 669
Returnees 13 694 2 282 50 1 141 0.45 514
Ezo 84 646 19 053 90 17 148 1.05 18 005
Ibba 43 829 10 968 90 9 872 1.05 10 365
Maridi 86 320 13 732 90 12 359 1.00 12 359
Mundri East 50 579 7 140 80 5 712 1.05 5 998
Mundri West 35 565 4 215 80 3 372 1.05 3 541
Mvolo 50 387 6 866 80 5 493 1.05 5 767
Nagero 10 549 2 244 90 2 020 1.05 2 121
Nzara 68 788 17 083 90 15 375 1.00 15 375
Tambura 57 956 13 939 90 12 545 1.00 12 545
Yambio 159 383 26 540 90 23 886 1.05 25 080
SOUTH SUDAN 8 973 607 1 425 044 79 1 125 829 0.82 920 798

3.2 Factors affecting yields

3.2.1 Rainfall

Rainfall generally started on time in April/May in most locations this year (see Annex II). Rainfall level has been normal to above normal and mostly well distributed, resulting in good crop conditions. Normal to above normal NDVIs were recorded along the agricultural season in most locations (see Annex II). In some locations of Lakes, Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal, rainfall started earlier than normal with above normal rains in March. Also in the Northern part of Upper Nile State, rainfall started slightly earlier than normal in April/May and rainfall levels reduced earlier as well in August, resulting in above average NDVI in July and below NDVI in September.

Between May and June, a two-to-four weeks dry spell period affected some locations in Upper Nile state (Panyikang, eastern part of Malakal and Renk counties), Unity state (Pariang, Mayom and eastern part of Leer counties), Warrap state (Kuajok and Gogrial east counties) and Jonglei state (Akobo, Waat, Pangak and Atar/Piji counties).

The NDVI map for July 2010 indicates the locations of the dry spell affected areas (see Annex II). Farmers in some of the most affected locations had to replant their crops or fill plant gaps when rainfall resumed. Rainfall was above normal at the end of July and August in most locations and generally favourable to crop growing conditions. In some locations, particularly in Eastern Equatoria, excess rainfall during that period was detrimental to cereal crops.

With rainfall above normal toward the end of July and August in Southern Sudan, but also in neighbouring Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, the water levels of the Nile and its tributaries rose and caused significant flooding in Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Warrap and Lakes States. These floods are normal occurrences in years with average to above average rainfall and generally they favour crop yields, pasture conditions, water availability and improve fishing opportunities. However, in certain locations, flood waters rose well above normal levels in August and September and affected both crops – mainly at flowering/grain filling stages – and settlements, causing temporary displacements.

In Northern Bahr el Ghazal, some floods occurred later in September due to raising water levels from local rivers taking their sources in Central African Republic. These floods occurred while sorghum and maize were at harvesting or just after harvesting and therefore did not significantly affected these crops. However, floods damaged rice cultivation at vegetative stage as well as settlements and households could not adequately trash and store harvested grains.

  1. Inputs in the traditional sector

In general, local seeds of sorghum and maize crops in traditional areas of production were considered available during the current agricultural season. However, seed access by most vulnerable people such as IDP and returnees was considered difficult and, considering the expected flow of new returnees before referendum, it may be an issue that deserve further investigation.

In the areas visited, the Mission found that about 40-45 percent of sorghum and maize seeds used by small-scale farmers come from the previous harvest, while about 30-35 percent of seeds was purchased or bartered from local markets. Lacking a specialized seed market, farmers often buy grains to be used as seed and their quality is questionable. The rest of the seeds were provided by other sources such as friends/neighbours, Government, NGOs and UN agencies. In particular, as in previous years, a limited amount of emergency seeds and tools were provided by FAO, GoSS and some NGOs to returnees, IDPs and most vulnerable farming households.

In general farmers prefer to use local varieties, while modern high-yield varieties get into the system almost exclusively through emergency seed distributions and from imports in border areas. In Eastern Equatoria, the Mission noted important seed flows from hills and mountains areas to the dryer plains which experienced crop failures last year, mainly through informal exchanges, talking advantage of the variations in rainfall patterns between the two ecologies. On the border with Uganda, the Mission also noted that some quantities of seeds were imported and sold on local markets. However, as the Mission travelled mainly along major roads and nearby markets and its observations may be limited, the comprehensive FAO Seed System Security Assessment, carried out subsequently, is expected to shed more light, especially on the issue of farmers’ access to seeds and planting material.

Fertilizers are rarely applied in Southern Sudan and soil fertility is maintained by applying manure or leaving land fallow for some years. Manure is an important factor of productivity in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap and Lakes States. In these areas, after the harvest, wealthier farming households pay livestock owners to camp their livestock at night on their agricultural land in order to improve soil fertility. Slash and burn cultivation is also practiced in counties with lower population density.

3.2.3 Pests, diseases and weeds

There were no large scale outbreaks of pests or diseases this year, beside unusual birds and aphids attack on sorghum in Eastern Equatoria and army worms in some locations of Jonglei (Pochalla and Twic). Birds attacked grain as usual and remained one of the major factors affecting sorghum production. The incidence of army worms, grasshoppers, stem borers and sorghum midge were slightly above normal. Termites are, as usual, troublesome in many areas, as are monkeys and other wild animals. Rosette and leaf spot of groundnut continue to be widespread, and cassava mosaic is ubiquitous. Sorghum smut is found in several fields, but usually at low levels.

In years with above average rainfall, weeds grow faster and their control becomes more challenging. In particular, the level of striga infestation has increased compared to last year, causing significant losses especially in sorghum fields.

3.3 Agricultural production in 2010

3.3.1 Cereal production

Estimates for 2010 cereal production data disaggregated by states and counties are provided in Table 3. Net cereal production (after deducting post harvest losses and seed use) is estimated by the Mission at about 695 000 tonnes. This good result is about 28.5 percent more than last year’s (revised) drought-affected output of 541 000 tonnes and it is mainly attributed to an expansion in planted area and better yields due to good rainfall and improved security. Post-harvest losses have been estimated at 20 percent in all counties as in previous years, except in four flood-affected counties in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state where losses were estimated at 25 percent.

Cereal yields have been estimated on the basis of information gathered during field observations, measurements and interviews with key informants and the analysis of the main factors affecting yields (rainfall, input use, pests and diseases, security conditions). Yields were appreciated visually in the fields, using the Pictorial Evaluation Tool (PET) as a support. For those crops that had recently been harvested, observation of the farmstead granaries combined with measurements of the harvested area have often provided a credible indication of yield. Average cereal yield is estimated at 0.95 tonne/hectare, about 16 percent higher than last year’s estimates. However, the yield figures mask a range included in the calculations from 0.6 tonne/ha in Tonj East County in Warrap State to 1.35 tonne/ha in Ibba, Nzara and Yambio Counties in Western Equatoria State.

Table 3 - Estimated cereal harvested area, yield, production, consumption and balance (traditional sector) in 2011

STATE/COUNTY Total cereal area (ha) 2010 yield (t/ha) 2010 gross cereal production (tonnes) 2010 net cereal production (tonnes) Population mid-2011 2011 consumption (t/year) 2011 surplus/deficit (tonnes)
Central Equatoria 126 706 0.92 115 969 92 775 1 224 425 156 653 -63 878
Returnees 1 898 0.90 1 708 1 366 46 478 6 275 -4 908
Juba 25 977 0.90 23 379 18 703 397 504 55 651 -36 947
Kajo Keji 33 706 0.90 30 335 24 268 209 656 25 159 -890
Lainya 9 214 1.00 9 214 7 372 95 333 11 440 -4 068
Morobo 10 351 0.90 9 316 7 453 110 583 13 270 -5 817
Terekeka 23 622 0.85 20 079 16 063 149 855 17 983 -1 919
Yei 21 937 1.00 21 937 17 550 215 015 26 877 -9 327
Eastern Equatoria 103 362 0.96 99 227 79 381 985 637 122 159 -42 777
Returnees 1 393 0.80 1 114 891 18 461 2 308 -1 416
Budi 12 631 0.85 10 736 8 589 105 883 12 706 -4 117
Ikotos 14 774 1.00 14 774 11 819 90 352 11 294 525
Kapoeta East 14 627 0.85 12 433 9 946 175 046 21 881 -11 935
Kapoeta North 7 936 0.85 6 746 5 396 110 029 13 754 -8 357
Kapoeta South 5 887 0.85 5 004 4 003 84 824 11 027 -7 024
Lafon 12 231 1.05 12 842 10 274 113 314 13 598 -3 324
Magwi 19 786 1.05 20 775 16 620 181 268 21 752 -5 132
Torit 14 098 1.05 14 803 11 842 106 460 13 840 -1 998
Jonglei 142 705 0.73 104 841 83 873 1 477 874 158 132 -74 259
Returnees 2 120 0.60 1 272 1 018 27 736 3051 -2 033
Akobo 12 598 0.75 9 448 7 559 145 387 15 993 -8 434
Ayod 13 511 0.70 9 458 7 566 148 666 15 610 -8 044
Bor South 22 300 0.75 16 725 13 380 236 003 27 140 -13 761
Duk 8 195 0.75 6 146 4 917 70 007 7351 -2 434
Fangak 11 659 0.70 8 162 6 529 117 550 12 343 -5 813
Khorflus/Pigi 9 572 0.75 7 179 5 743 105 743 11 103 -5 360
Nyirol 12 218 0.70 8 553 6 842 115 996 12 760 -5 918
Pibor 10 109 0.75 7 582 6 065 158 479 16 640 -10 575
Pochalla 7 429 0.75 5 572 4 457 70 661 7 066 -2 609
Twic East 11 503 0.75 8 627 6 902 91 099 10 021 -3 119
Uror 21 493 0.75 16 120 12 896 190 547 19 055 -6 159
Lakes 76 402 1.08 82 843 66 275 807 203 84 180 -17 905
Returnees 4 325 1.05 4 542 3 633 64 598 6 460 -2 826
Awerial 4 929 0.90 4 436 3 549 50 210 5 021 -1 472
Cueibet 12 880 1.05 13 523 10 819 125 689 12 569 -1 750
Rumbek Centre 14 071 1.05 14 775 11 820 163 896 18 029 -6 209
Rumbek East 12 981 1.15 14 928 11 943 131 108 13 111 -1 168
Rumbek North 4 144 0.90 3 730 2 984 46 335 4 633 -1 650
Wulu 5 180 1.05 5 439 4 351 43 282 4 328 23
Yirol East 6 756 1.20 8 108 6 486 71 943 7 914 -1 428
Yirol West 11 135 1.20 13 362 10 689 110 142 12 116 -1 426
N Bahr el Ghazal 79 355 1.01 80 257 60 379 848 066 87 377 -26 998
Returnees 3 722 1.00 3 722 2 978 78 597 8 646 -5 668
Aweil Centre 1 567 1.05 1 646 1 234 44 645 4 911 -3 677
Aweil East 33 908 1.00 33 908 25 431 330 802 36 388 -10 957
Aweil North 14 840 1.00 14 840 11 130 137 827 13 094 -1 964
Aweil South 8 230 1.10 9 053 6 790 78 779 7 484 -694
Aweil West 17 087 1.00 17 087 12 815 177 416 16 855 -4 039
Unity 39 702 0.75 29 647 23 717 664 068 57 710 -33 992
Returnees 2 471 0.60 1 483 1 186 38 798 3 492 -2 306
Abiemnhom 831 0.80 665 532 18 158 1 543 -1 012
Guit 2 028 0.90 1 825 1 460 35 228 2 994 -1 534
Koch 3 744 0.70 2 621 2 097 79 907 6 792 -4 695
Leer 3 536 0.70 2 475 1 980 56 594 4 811 -2 830
Mayendit 4 665 0.80 3 732 2 986 57 407 4 880 -1 894
Mayom 8 912 0.70 6 239 4 991 128 848 10 952 -5 961
Panyijar 4 083 0.75 3 063 2 450 54 140 4 602 -2 152
Pariang 5 744 0.80 4 595 3 676 87 998 7 480 -3 804
Rubkona 3 686 0.80 2 949 2 359 106 989 10 164 -7 805
Upper Nile 77 790 0.79 61 232 48 985 1 036 228 86 428 -37 443
Returnees 338 0.60 203 162 6 901 587 -424
Baliet 3 947 0.75 2 961 2 368 51 245 4 100 -1 731
Fashoda 4 441 0.75 3 331 2 664 38 978 3 118 -454
Longochuk 4 156 0.75 3 117 2 494 67 422 5 394 -2 900
Luakpiny/Nasir 13 360 0.75 10 020 8 016 224 151 17 932 -9 916
Maban 4 935 0.75 3 701 2 961 48 286 3 863 -902
Maiwut 5 260 0.85 4 471 3 577 84 816 6 785 -3 209
Malakal 4 417 0.75 3 313 2 650 135 005 12 825 -10 175
Manyo 5 052 0.75 3 789 3 031 40 571 3 246 -215
Melut 5 650 0.75 4 238 3 390 52 560 4 205 -815
Panyikang 2 090 0.75 1 568 1 254 48 488 3 879 -2 625
Renk 17 878 0.85 15 196 12 157 147 032 13 233 -1 076
Ulang 6 266 0.85 5 326 4 261 90 774 7 262 -3 001
W Bahr el Ghazal 37 495 1.13 42 206 33 765 367 535 41 465 -7 700
Returnees 629 1.10 692 554 11 336 1 247 -693
Jur River 9 784 1.10 10 762 8 610 136 496 15 015 -6 405
Raga 6 406 1.25 8 007 6 406 58 051 5 805 601
Wau 20 676 1.10 22 744 18 195 161 653 19 398 -1 203
Warrap 125 612 0.94 117 497 93 998 1 071 435 104 216 -10 219
Returnees 1 956 0.90 1 761 1 409 32 071 3 208 -1 799
Abyei 4 298 0.90 3 868 3 095 56 494 5 084 -1 990
Gogrial East 13 182 1.00 13 182 10 545 110 336 10 482 63
Gogrial West 32 023 1.10 35 225 28 180 260 577 27 361 820
Tonj East 15 714 0.60 9 428 7 543 124 051 12 405 -4 862
Tonj North 22 143 0.85 18 821 15 057 176 504 17 650 -2 593
Tonj South 10 845 0.90 9 760 7 808 92 505 8 325 -517
Twic 25 451 1.00 25 451 20 361 218 897 19 701 660
Western Equatoria 111 669 1.25 140 102 112 081 675 274 87 902 24 179
Returnees 514 1.15 591 472 13 975 1 817 -1 344
Ezo 18 005 1.20 21 606 17 285 86 383 11 230 6 055
Ibba 10 365 1.35 13 993 11 194 44 728 5 815 5 380
Maridi 12 359 1.20 14 831 11 864 88 092 11 452 412
Mundri East 5 998 1.15 6 897 5 518 51 617 6 452 -934
Mundri West 3 541 1.15 4 072 3 258 36 295 4 537 -1 279
Mvolo 5 767 1.15 6 633 5 306 51 421 6 428 -1 122
Nagero 2 121 1.15 2 439 1 951 10 765 1 399 552
Nzara 15 375 1.35 20 756 16 604 70 199 9 126 7 479
Tambura 12 545 1.15 14 427 11 542 59 146 7 689 3 853
Yambio 25 080 1.35 33 858 27 086 162 654 21 958 5 128
SOUTH SUDAN 920 798 0.95 873 820 695 230 9 157 745 986 222 -290 993

Table 4 shows the series of cereal harvested area and net production for the traditional sector from 2006 onward. As explained in section 3, harvested area and production figures for 2009 have been revised using information gathered during the field work on post-harvest yields and comparing them with current yields.

Table 4 - Cereal harvested area and net production in the traditional sector in 2006-2010

States/zones 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 forecast
Area 000 ha Net prod 000 t Area 000 ha Net prod 000 t Area 000 ha Net prod 000 t Area 000 ha Net prod 000 t (revised) Area 000 ha Net prod 000 t
UPPER NILE 274 230 172 149 237 237 218 90 261 156
Upper Nile 92 84 55 48 79 67 77 34 78 49
Unity 44 35 27 25 43 42 37 18 40 24
Jonglei 139 111 90 76 115 126 104 38 143 84
BAHR EL GHAZAL 266 220 270 258 292 342 298 223 319 262
North Bahr el Ghazal 55 38 50 37 59 44 71 49 79 60
West Bahr el Ghazal 35 32 32 39 34 52 39 30 37 34
Lakes 82 70 77 79 84 101 69 53 76 66
Warrap 94 80 112 103 116 145 119 90 126 94
GREATER EQUATORIA 247 259 263 304 323 490 335 228 343 284
Central Equatoria 108 119 106 112 131 201 121 72 127 93
Eastern Equatoria 49 31 66 55 85 94 98 53 103 79
Western Equatoria 91 109 91 136 107 196 116 102 112 112
SOUTH SUDAN 788 709 705 711 853 1 068 852 541 921 695

B. Mechanized sector

The rainfed mechanized sector is confined mostly to Upper Nile/Renk County, but also includes some relatively small areas in Unity State. Households engaged in mechanized farming are cultivating larger areas and selling their produces on the market. Due to an outbreak of armed conflict in Renk between SPLA and SAF forces, the Mission could not visit the mechanised farming and information were collated from informants and the report produced by the Rapid Crop Assessment-RCA conducted in August 2010.

In mechanized farming areas of Renk, credit are provided by the Jebelein Agricultural Bank branch in White Nile – through Salam5 loans, mostly benefiting farmers who do not permanently reside in Renk. The Agricultural Bank branches in Upper Nile have reportedly not conducted lending operations this year, which negatively affected farmers who do not qualify to the Jebelein Bank loans. As a result, most of the agricultural production in Renk is being operated by large commercial farmers based in White Nile State. Informants have estimated that 90 percent of the grain produced in Renk County6 is transported to Kosti for storage, before some of which is traded toward South-Sudan. Kosti is the main sorghum trading hub between Northern Sudan and Upper Nile, part of Jonglei and Unity States but also up to Juba7. According to the Upper Nile State MoAF, over 442 thousand hectares of crops (sorghum and sesame mainly, but also sunflower and millet) under mechanised farming were harvested in 20108. The agricultural land mapped by the Land Cover database suggests the above data might be over-estimated. Data on mechanised farming in Unity State were not available. Since most of the production from the mechanized sector is destined for northern Sudan, it has been omitted from calculations of levels of satisfaction of consumption requirement for Southern Sudan.

In Malakal, this year the small Mohammed El Jak scheme used 2 tractors for ploughing, harrowing and seeding 500 feddans of sorghum. The scheme had difficulties accessing spare parts for the machinery – especially seed drillers. Crops were reportedly affected by striga, particularly in block 1. Fuel costs have also been high and transportation to the farm was reported as a constraint for farming operations. As a result, yield levels in the scheme are reported to vary between 250 and 500 kg/feddan. According to MoAF, these yield levels are still higher than the traditional farming in the surrounding areas due to comparatively better soil fertility as these lands were recently opened for cultivation. In Unity State, lands allocated for cultivation by tractors are generally more prone to floods as other lands are reportedly secured for individual households farming.

3.3.2 Cassava

Cassava represents an important food safety net throughout the Green Belt areas in three Equatoria States as well as part of Lakes and Western Bahr el Ghazal. Cassava is also traded in local markets in the form of tubers, dried cassava chips and cassava flour. The cassava area varies from location to location increasing southwards west of the White Nile from a line drawn from Raja to Warrap. In Rumbek, the crop is noted to be planted around plot and household boundaries. In Wau and Raja, cassava is noted to be planted both as single or intercrop along with sorghum and sesame. In Western and Central Equatoria, inter-cropping of cassava is noted with a wide range of cereals, sesame, groundnuts and beans during the first year of its development. Plant density varies significantly from one location to the other but also within plots. Agricultural practices for cassava are noted to be similar in Raja, Wau and the Greenbelt. They involve a fixed planting season in May-August when the cassava cuttings are planted with the second groundnut crop and other admixtures. Weeding occurs during the first year and into the second year (18-24 months) during which time either harvesting is started (more northerly growing areas) or, the crops are left for the forests to close around them during the third year (24-36 months) when harvesting is completed plant-by-plant as needed. Both sweet and bitter cassava varieties are grown. Regarding the latter, after harvesting the tubers are skinned, chipped, soaked, dried and pounded to flour for use, storage and sale. Fresh matter yields vary significantly with plant density in single or intercropped fields. The cassava crop translates to substantial reserves of carbohydrates for consumption from Raja to Kajo-Keji and Yei.

3.3.3 Livestock

Generally, with 11 million head of cattle and 27 million head of small ruminants (14 million goat and 13 million sheep) estimated to be kept in Southern Sudan (see Table 5), the contribution of animals to household food economies is considerable. If evenly distributed, this number would suggest holdings of 19 heads per household. The Mission observations in the field suggests a better overall livestock performance in 2010, confirmed by the good body condition (score 3-4) of cattle in most states; the abundant pasture; plenty of browse and water. There was no major disease outbreak reported except the East Coast Fever in Jonglei and Central Equatoria (Terekeka) States which resulted in substantial losses of cattle. Livestock numbers have increased compared to last year. As in past years, cattle raiding have altered local distribution patterns within most States. Reports of conflicts also appear regularly as a negative effect regarding pasture utilisation and were reported to all Mission teams in 2010 during field visits (as in past years). The most dramatic include incursion of Bor Dinka to Terekeka aiming at reaching West Equatoria causing disorder among grazers and settled agriculturalists. The Mission observed that livestock poor body conditions where often associated with insecurity that prevented herders to access good pastures and water. This was particularly noted by the Mission in Lakes, Warrap and Jonglei States.

Table 5 - Cattle numbers (thousands) by state (2005-2010)

States 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Central Equatoria 895 908 922 926 878 880
Eastern Equatoria 883 896 910 913 888 895
Western Equatoria 680 690 701 703 675 680
Jonglei 1 475 1 497 1 521 1 526 1 465 1 475
Upper Nile 990 1 005 1 021 1 024 983 990
Unity 1 189 1 207 1 226 1 230 1 180 1 189
Lakes         1 311 1 320
Warrap 1 539 1 562 1 586 1 592 1 528 1 539
Western Bahr el Ghazal 1 256 1 275 1 295 1 300 1 248 1 256
Northern Bahr el Ghazal 1 590 1 615 1 640 1 646 1 579 1 590
SOUTH SUDAN 10 497 10 655 10 822 10 860 10 424 11 814
Source: Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries for 2005-2008; FAO Livestock Population Estimates for 2009-2010.

3.4 Security

Although 2010 was marked by political elections in April and the preparation of the referendum on Southern Sudan self determination which is officially scheduled on 9 January 2011, the overall security situation has noticeably improved compared to 2009. However, the Mission noted several troubled areas (see Map 1), mainly due to inter-tribal conflicts, where mobility of people and livestock in 2010 has been severely limited due to insecurity. The Mission also noted that cattle raiding increased in some States such as Lakes and Warrap. In some unsecured areas, tribal conflicts prevented farmers from accessing land located far from homestead and thus resulting in reduction of planted area. This was particularly severe in various counties of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States. Insecurity also often limited the access to diversified food sources such as fishing, wild food gathering and hunting. Insecurity on roads, with increasing risk of ambushes to traders, is affecting food supply and market access, particularly in Eastern Equatoria, Western Bahr El Ghazal and Unity State. Security conditions may change as the date of the self-determination referendum get closer and political tensions may build up.

4. CEREAL SUPPLY/DEMAND SITUATION

4.1 Cereal balance

As already shown in Table 3, total cereal consumption in 2011 was estimated at about 986 000 tonnes, using a projected 2011 mid-year population of about 9.16 million people and an average per capita consumption of 108 kg of cereals per year. Estimates of cereal per capita consumption are based on information provided by the 2009 National Baseline Household Survey (NBHS) at state level and adjusted by the Mission at county level to take into account differences between urban and rural areas and the relative importance of crops and livestock in local diets. Per capita food consumption rates by the 2009 NBHS are generally higher than those used in past CFSAMs. In addition, the Mission decided to augment 2009 cereal consumption figures by 5 percent to take into account that the NBHS may have somehow underestimated food consumption because of two factors: 1) it was conducted in a year when cereal production was severely affected by drought and 2) it was conducted during the lean season period when overall food consumption usually decrease. Consequently, used consumption rates varied from 80 to 140 kg per capita per year. Mid-2011 population has been calculated assuming a population growth rate of 2.052 percent per annum as in previous CFSAM.

With an estimated net cereal production of approximately 695 000 tonnes, a cereal deficit of about 291 000 tonnes is forecast for the marketing year 2011. In addition, the Mission forecast an additional 12 000 tonnes of cereals required for each 100 000 people returning to Southern Sudan to participate in the self-determination referendum in January 2011. Considering the current estimate of about 400 000 people that have already registered to return from Northern Sudan, the overall cereal deficit for 2011 to be covered by commercial imports and food aid is likely to reach about 339 000 tonnes. This figure compares with 2010 revised deficit of about 417 000 tonnes.

Table 6 summarises the estimated cereal supply situation for each state in 2011, without including additional food requirements to satisfy the demand of foreseen returnees in coming months. Jonglei state is forecast to have the largest shortfall, with about 74 300 tonnes. Only Western Equatoria state is expected to register a surplus, while Western Bahr el Ghazal state shows a relatively small deficit.

Table 6 – Estimated cereal surplus/deficit by state in 2011

States Surplus/deficit (tonnes)
Central Equatoria -63 878
Eastern Equatoria -42 777
Western Equatoria 24 179
Jonglei -74 259
Upper Nile -37 443
Unity -33 992
Lakes -17 905
Warrap -10 219
Western Bahr el Ghazal -7 700
Northern Bahr el Ghazal -26 998
Southern Sudan -290 993

4.2 Cereal and livestock markets

The 2009 National Household Baseline Survey (NHBS) showed that food purchased on local markets is the main source of food in Southern Sudan. At the time of the survey, households acquired their food mostly from purchases (57.6 percent), followed by their own production (23.9) and other sources (12.9 percent), which include mainly gifts, food aid, and payment in kind. The survey found that own production is not the main source of calories in most lowland States, ranging from 24.7 percent in Jonglei to 7.1 percent in Northern Bahr El Ghazal. Different patterns are in Western and Eastern Equatoria as own production represents respectively 50.0 and 42.1 percent of the dietary energy consumption (see Figure 1). Although the NHBS was undertaken in the month of May, during the lean season when market purchases by agricultural and agro-pastoralist households are usually predominant if compared to the second part of the year, it underlines the growing importance of local markets to access food in Southern Sudan and the potential impacts on food security when markets are disrupted.

Figure 1: Share of food consumption by sources

After the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the development of the road network started to receive the attention of GoSS. In fact, one of the major peace dividends is that rural areas are now better connected to urban centres with substantial improvement of trade flows of supplies of food and other household items. The benefits resulting from de-mining, clearance and grading of many of the major trunk roads are evident. However, feeder roads are still mostly unusable and this continues to be an obstacle to farmers’ access to food and farming inputs as well as a serious disincentive to increase food production, even in potentially surplus production areas (e.g. in the Greenbelt zone). This situation compels entire communities to live in quasi-autarchic conditions, relying mostly on subsistence agriculture. In Jonglei State, for instance, communities in places such as Pochalla have almost no road connection to the outer world. The nearest market of Pinyido in neighbouring Ethiopia is six hours away by bicycle, while Pibor is connected by a makeshift road only for three months per year, from January to March, during the dry season. In this and similar cases, stockpiling by food traders is usually practiced, with increasing storage costs and food losses.

As reported in Figure 2, nominal retail prices of white sorghum have been characterized by a rising trend in the first part of 2010, mainly as a consequence of 2009 poor harvest. They peaked in May-June 2010 in the post-electoral period and then they decreased in some markets like Juba and Aweil Town, in coincidence with the release of Governmental food stocks at subsidized prices, the distribution of food aid and a sustained flow of imports from North Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. Generally, sorghum prices remain above the level of one year ago. Prices in Wau kept a steadily rising trend for the whole year, mainly because of severe problems of market access due to insecurity at border with North Sudan that limited movements of traders from South Darfur to Wau and extremely poor road conditions between Wau and Aweil in recent months. According to Mission’s observations, prices in Malakal, Bentiu and other urban centres in border States are already showing some increases.

Regarding maize prices, the Mission reported that, especially in the three Equatoria states where maize is one of the main staple foods, current prices are generally lower than a year ago. This reduction is partially due to the good 2010 production, but mainly to a sustained import flow from neighbouring Uganda. In fact, in Kampala market, wholesale maize prices registered record low levels between July and September 2010, averaging USD 110-120 per tonne.

Figure 2: Retail prices of white sorghum in selected markets

Figure 2 shows also the existence of significant price differentials between markets, illustrating limited integration. They are mainly due to markets segmentation and high transportation costs from surplus to deficit areas. In Southern Sudan, transportation costs are determined by several factors, such as poor conditions of the road network especially during the rainy season, formal and informal taxation system at check points, high expenses related to insecurity and the presence of a considerable number of intermediaries handling food along the value chain. In May 2010, the GoSS issued a directive to exempt imported staple food commodities from taxation. However, any analysis of the extent of its implementation and impact would require a follow-up. Regarding the value chain of white sorghum, the Mission analysed price formation in Upper Nile state, from mainly mechanized cereal producing area of Renk to the retail market of Malakal, and it was found that the price received by farmers in Renk is less than 30 percent of the price paid by final consumers in Malakal, the rest being used to remunerate the services provided by the intermediaries.

Prices of livestock are currently higher than one year ago due to the good animal body conditions following better availability of pasture and water. In main markets, distress sales of goats and cattle continued almost until mid-2010 due to the negative effects on grain production and pasture conditions of last year’s drought. Since then, with the beginning of the rainy season, the number of animals on sale, especially heifers, has gradually decreased and livestock prices have started to increase. Current terms of trade are generally favourable for pastoralists to the detriment of grain producers as shown in Figure 3. In Malakal and Aweil, the price of a male goat in September/October 2010 was equivalent to 130-150 kg of white sorghum, while it was equal to only 90 kg in July 2010. In Wau, terms of trade improved for pastoralists from February to April 2010 and then they remained quite stable due to the exceptional local high prices of grains.

In Juba, sorghum/goat terms of trade steadily declined from January to June 2010 and then they remained constant with marginal improvements in recent months. However, given the major importance of maize and maize flour in local diet in Juba town, it is also interesting to analyse the maize/livestock terms of trade shown in Figure 4. Maize/bull exchange constantly deteriorated from April 2009, when a medium bull was traded for about 2 800 kg of maize, until January 2010, when maize retail prices hit record level of SDG 2.85 per kg and a medium bull could be then obtained in exchange of only 400 kg of maize. Since then, terms of trade for pastoralist have gradually improved, remaining constant at about 1 100-1 200 kg of maize per bull.

Figure 3: Terms of trade - White sorghum/medium male goat in selected markets

Figure 4: Terms of trade - White maize/medium bull in Juba

The Mission foresees some potential effects of the self-determination referendum on trade flows, food demand in some areas and the overall food security situation. As the referendum’s date gets closer and security conditions become more uncertain, some traders from North Sudan as well as neighbouring Uganda and Kenya are expected to reduce their activities or leave the country, at least temporarily. This is already taking place in some markets closer to northern border, where a gradual reduction of food stocks has been registered during Mission’s field visits. Two maps visualizing the likely impact of the referendum on grain and flour trading flows are in Annex III.

Food demand is also expected to increase in coming months as a result of the likely flow of people returning to Southern Sudan for voting at the self-determination referendum. Although these figures are still tentative and may change in the near future or even after the referendum, in the short term, returnees are expected to concentrate in state capitals (especially Juba, Malakal, Bentiu, Aweil and Kwajok) and determine an increase in food and non food demand. At the same time, food demand may further increase in coming weeks if local households perceive the risk of potential food shortages during the referendum period and they may consequently decide to hoard substantial quantities of food as a copying strategy.

In conclusion, the Mission anticipates an increase in food prices especially in communities bordering Northern Sudan due to reduced import flows and increased food demand. Depending on post-referendum security conditions, this increase in food prices may continue into the 2011 lean season that usually starts in April/May and ends in August with the new harvest. This situation would mean that food prices may stay high for a period of about 8 months, with a severe negative impact on the access of most vulnerable households, especially in urban areas.

5. HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY SITUATION

5.1 Methodology

The mission undertook extensive field visits throughout the 10 states covering all livelihood zones to assess underlying dynamics and trends in the food security situation and to cross-check findings from secondary sources. Government authorities and key food security partners were consulted at national, state and county level. In addition, the mission conducted focus group discussions with men and women (including resident population and IDPs) at community level and interviewed retailers and wholesalers in major markets across the country.

Secondary sources included the 2009 and 2010 Annual Needs and Livelihood Assessment (ANLA), the 2009 National Baseline Household Survey, and the Situation Analysis of Nutrition in Southern Sudan (draft September 2009). Recently, stakeholders, including GOSS, WFP, FAO and UNICEF decided to rename the ANLA to “Annual Needs and Livelihood Analysis” to emphasize the increased need for more in-depth analysis of the dynamics and underlying causes of food insecurity. The recent data collection round forms part of a food security monitoring system (FSMS) initiated in 2010. The food security situation will be re-assessed in February (dry-season, post-referendum), June (lean season) and October (post-harvest) 2011.

The 2010 FSMS/ANLA covered 8 out of 10 states. In each state, 10 sentinel sites (bomas) were purposively selected through a consultative process at the state-level taking into account representation of various livelihood zones and administrative areas within each state. In total, 1,841 households were interviewed. The purposive selection of sites is a pragmatic necessity but imposes certain analytical limitations and constraints. Selected key food security indicators were also collected during the statistically representative National Health Survey conducted in June 2010 but the analysis was still ongoing during the time of the mission. For future reference, it is recommended to establish a baseline using the National Health Survey findings and adjust trends on a seasonal basis using the results from the food security monitoring system.

5.2 Livelihood context and trends

Livelihood patterns are determined by the agro-ecological conditions as well as the culture and traditions of the various tribes. For most households in Southern Sudan, cattle-keeping is the fundamental basis for wealth and social status. Crop production plays an important complementary role but is generally perceived as a less important activity more for cultural than agro-ecological reasons especially among the Nilotic tribes (Dinka and Nuer). Other activities include fishing, gathering of wild foods and trade. Access to food is highly seasonal and location specific and the majority of households move around to exploit seasonal patterns. Mobility is crucial and food insecurity often arises where inter-tribal clashes and other conflicts constrain this mobility. There are seven distinct livelihood zones in Southern Sudan (see Map 2).

The Greenbelt comprised of Western Equatoria and parts of Central and Eastern Equatoria benefits from a weakly bi-modal rainfall patterns which enables two planting seasons. Main livelihood is subsistence agriculture with the potential of surplus production. The main crops cultivated are root crops (cassava, sweet potatoes), maize, millet, groundnuts and finger millet. Despite the fact that there has been a reduction in new displacements, fear of attacks of the Lord Resistance Army continue to interrupt agricultural production in parts of Western Equatoria, in particular in Ezo, Tambura and Nagero counties and selected payams in Nzara and Yambio counties. Poor marketing opportunities are a major disincentive for farming households to increase their outputs. In 2010, WFP has started a small-scale local Purchase-for-Progress (P4P) initiative which has motivated some farmers organized in groups to increase their maize production. A general concern is that price expectations of farmers exceed by far the amount WFP is able to pay pegged on the prevailing global and regional maize price levels.

Map 2 - Livelihood zones in Southern Sudan

The Pastoral livelihood zone lies in the arid south-east of Southern Sudan encompassing parts of Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei. In this zone, seasonal migration in search of water and pasture for livestock is the predominant livelihood activity. After the 2009 drought which limited pastoralists access to pasture and water resources forcing them to migrate long distances, the situation is much more favourable since the onset of the rains this year. Number of livestock is expected to have increased and the mission did not observe distress sales in the Kapoeta livestock market which were very common last year and during the first quarter of 2010. This year, livestock is remaining longer around their homesteads contributing to increased milk intake of the entire household. Though agricultural outputs were hampered by bird attacks and increased level of aphids due to the high rainfall in August, households are able to compensate due to improved Terms of Trade for livestock products and gold. In South and East Kapoeta it was observed that mining activities have been increasing as a response to poor livestock conditions and harvest last year.

The Hills and Mountains zone covers parts of Jonglei, Central and Eastern Equatoria zone and is characterized by agro-pastoralism. This was one of the worst affected areas by the 2009 drought. Mostly vulnerable were communities in the lowlands who engage in the production of short- and long-term sorghum, while communities in the mountains who cultivate cereals, pulses and vegetables were doing relatively better due to more favourable rain conditions in higher altitudes. During the first half of 2010 households were highly dependent on market purchases and food aid. The situation has improved since mid-year due to declining food prices and increased consumption from own production following the harvest of short-term sorghum in June/July. Though agricultural productivity has increased, outputs remain below normal due to damages caused by the heavy rainfall in August. Selling of vegetables and pulses has slightly decreased in the mountain areas due to longer vegetation periods. Casual labour and selling of charcoal, firewood, bamboos, poles and grass – common coping strategies in times of distress – have decreased remarkably this year compared to last year.

In both Pastoral and Hills and Mountain zones, key informants indicated that cattle raiding have reduced in 2010 compared to the previous year due to major reconciliation and sensitization campaigns of the government and some NGOs. On the other hand, armed ambushes targeting trucks and personal vehicles have increased especially on the Torit-Kapoeta and Ikotos-Hiyala road. These attacks have potential implications on food insecurity as it affects the mobility of traders who import food commodities from Uganda.

The Western and Eastern Flood Plains cover Upper Nile and parts of Unity, Jonglei, Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Lakes. Primary livelihood activity is agro-pastoralism supplemented by fishing, wild food gathering and to some extent hunting in the Eastern Flood Plains. The Western and Eastern Plains are separated by the Nile and Sobat River Zone where fishing contributes significantly to household food access. Livelihoods are highly dependent on changing water levels and settlements are concentrated on small portions of land that are slightly elevated. Seasonal flooding increases the yield of pasture for livestock, fish and wild foods, but can affect agricultural production and be the cause of displacements. Other economic activities in this region include the oil fields in Unity and mechanized farms around Renk in Upper Nile but benefits for the local population are generally limited to improvements of the local road infrastructure for which the 2 percent direct share of oil revenues are mainly used.

This year, above normal rainfall and higher water levels in rivers flowing from Ethiopia caused localized flooding in parts of Upper Nile, Unity, Jonglei and Northern Bahr El Ghazal resulting in destructions of crops and displacements of affected households. The situation was exacerbated by the often inadequate drainage in the newly constructed roads. Insecurity caused by inter-tribal/clan clashes is considered as the main factor affecting households’ access to food this year as it prevented flood affected households to mitigate the impacts of floods to access remote cropping areas on higher lands which remained flood free. Fishing opportunities on the other hand are above normal – especially once the water level subsides and fishing activities along the rivers resume. Likewise, livestock body conditions are good due to above average availability of pasture and water and households continue to engage in restocking their herds. Though game meat contributes to the food diet in parts of Upper Nile, the increased presence of armed factions and enforcement of new regulations have decreased reliance on this activity compared to last year.

Given the configuration of transportation infrastructure, Unity and to a slightly lesser degree Upper Nile and the Northern parts of Jonglei are almost exclusively dependent on Northern Sudan for its market supply. Also Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal depend largely on trade of cereals from the north. As many traders are anticipating problems for their business with the referendum approaching, the number of traders has declined as many have opted to return back to the North and those staying are no longer replenishing their stocks. Market prices have generally remained higher this year compared to the previous year despite the better harvest this year. This is expected to be aggravated by the increased demand of returnees who are already starting to come back from the North ahead of the referendum. Insecurity due to ethnic and inter-tribal conflicts remains a concern in Jonglei though the situation was relatively calm at the time of the mission. The trading route from Malakal to Akobo was disrupted earlier this year due to insecurity but barges are now moving freely again.

The Ironstone Plateau covering parts of Lakes, Warrap, Northern and Western el Ghazal, Western and Central Equatoria highly depends on crop production, mainly sorghum, groundnuts, sesame and tobacco. In some areas also honey production is an important supplementary activity. Generally income crop production is expected to be higher this year compared to last year though some areas produced less as they were affected by displacements last year and throughout early 2010. Body conditions of animals in Lakes state were reported to be poor compared to last year which was attributed to overgrazing and restricted access to water pasture as a result of insecurity caused by cattle-raiding. In Warrap, some locations are still flooded and pastures are not accessible, therefore livestock have been moved to higher grounds causing conflicts with local population groups. Despite generally improving conditions for agricultural production, Western Bahr El Ghazal is affected by poor road conditions linking Wau and Juba due to several broken bridges, which is limiting trading activities with the Southern states.

In summary, across Southern Sudan, income from activities considered highly reliable and sustainable (e.g. sales of cereals and animal products) have increased compared to last year (ANLA/FSMS 2009/10). The fact that sale of livestock has decreased in relative terms is rather a positive sign as traditionally most livestock herders only sell their animals in times of distress. On the other hand, the relative importance of coping strategies such as selling of grass, charcoal and firewood has decreased compared to last year, however they remain important in Jonglei, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria and Unity States (see Table 7). The high reliance last year on the production of firewood and charcoal has contributed to a certain decline in woodland and forest resources around towns and in more populated areas forcing households (mainly women) to walk longer distances to fetch firewood.

Table 7: Share of income sources (%) (Oct 2010)

  EEQ Jonglei Lakes Upper Nile WBEG NBEG Warrap Unity Total Trend compared to last year
High reliability/sustainability
Sale of cereal 6 11 21 31 21 7 14 10 15 (+)
Sale of livestock 25 9 15 3 3 1 14 7 9 (-)
Sale of animal products 1 3 2 7 1 1 4 4 3 (+)
Skilled labour 1 2 1 10 1 2 2 1 2 (+)
Salaried work 4 16 4 22 8 5 10 4 9 (+)
Petty trade/small business 1 3 4 3 4 8 2 3 4 (+)
Sub-total 37 44 48 76 37 24 46 29 42 (++)
Medium reliability/sustainability
Sale of other crops and products 4 5 9 2 16 5 6 2 6 (+)
Sale of alcoholic beverages 16 7 10 3 9 11 19 10 11 (+)
Casual labour (agriculture) 5 1 11 6 11 22 3 7 8 (+)
Sale of fish 0 2 4 1 1 0 1 9 2 (-)
Other 6 0 3 0 2 3 2 0 2 (+-)
Sub-total 30 16 36 12 39 41 30 27 30 (+-)
Low reliability/sustainability
Casual labour (construction) 1 1 0 1 1 1 2 4 1 (-)
Other non-agri casual labour 2 2 4 2 1 2 2 2 2 (+)
Sale of firewood 14 21 3 5 5 15 4 15 10 (-)
Sale of charcoal 11 3 2 1 10 5 2 10 5 (-)
Sale of grass 2 7 2 3 5 10 4 12 6 (-)
Kinship/gifts from others 1 4 2 0 1 2 1 0 1 (-)
Begging 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 (-)
Sale of food aid 0 1 2 1 0 0 4 0 1 (+)
Borrowing 1 1 1 0 1 0 5 1 1 (+-)
Sub-total 32 40 16 13 24 35 23 43 28 (--)
Source: Calculated based on ANLA 2009/20010 and FSMS (2010) data

5.3 Current food security situation and projected trends

The current food security situation has improved remarkably compared to the previous year which can mainly be attributed to good rainfall, increased food production and favourable livestock conditions. Despite these improvements, future prospects highly depend on how the referendum and post referendum period evolves. Recent gains could easily be reversed due to the following risk factors: (1) Limited or no supplies in the Northern States of Southern Sudan as traders are pulling out; (2) increased food prices across all states due to temporarily reduced inflows from Uganda and increased demand from the Northern states which were supplied from Northern Sudan so far; (3) increased number of returnees in the pre- and post-referendum period who will additionally increase the demand for food commodities in the markets and place a burden on families hosting returnees; (4) potential increase of ethnic and intertribal conflicts in the aftermath of the referendum impacting access to agricultural land and pasture in 2011; and finally (5) a risk of escalating localized conflicts in the border areas of Northern and Southern Sudan. Farming households relying on their own production will be slightly more resilient due to the favourable 2010 agricultural season. They will, however become vulnerable during the time of the lean season (see seasonal calendar in Annex V) when they will become highly dependent on market purchases.

5.3.1 Food expenditure and food sources

According to the National Baseline Household Survey (NBHS) conducted during the dry/lean season in April-May 2009 following a good harvest in 2008, households in Southern Sudan spent 79 percent of their total consumption on food, in rural areas 81 percent and in urban areas 69 percent. Eight out of ten states have shares higher than 80 percent (see Figure 5). This is concerning when taking into account the current and anticipated trends of food commodity prices (see section 4.2).

Figure 5: Share of food expenditure in monetary value in total consumption (%)

Compared to one year, households are currently spending less cash on food (ANLA/FSMS 2009 and 2010). Last year, 41 percent of households were considered to have high share of food expenditure, this year only 27 percent, an indication that households are able to rely more on their own production. This trend is also reflected for the main sources food (see Figure 6.). Currently, more households are able to rely on their own production to access food compared to the same period last year while purchases from markets have slightly decreased. Also the dependency on gathering of wild foods has decreased, while some households are still benefiting from food aid distributed during the lean season as a response to the 2009 drought. During 2010, food aid remained an important source. Overall, 39 percent of interviewed households reported to have benefited from food assistance during the lean season.

Figure 6: Share of food sources (ANLA/FSMS)

5.3.2 Food consumption and coping strategies

Food consumption based on dietary diversity and frequency has improved this year. Households with poor food consumption reduced from 26 percent to 19 percent, while households with acceptable food consumption increased from 47 percent to 57 percent. This is an indication that after the recent harvest, households were able to improve their food consumption levels compared to the previous year which was heavily affected by the drought. While last year every second adult was consuming one meal per day, it is now only every fifth person. However, despite this positive trend, nearly every second household continues to have a diet that lacks dietary diversity and energy.

The situation has improved across all covered states except for Lakes and Warrap which could partly be explained by the fact that in Lakes State the predominant long-term sorghum has not yet been harvested, while households’ food security was also affected by increasing levels of insecurity caused by inter-tribal clashes and cattle-raiding. Remarkable are the improvements in Eastern Equatoria and Northern Bahr El Ghazal which were heavily affected by the 2009 drought but benefited from the improved rainfall and livestock conditions this year (see Figure 7).

Figure 7: Percentage of households with poor/borderline consumption Oct. 2009/10 (ANLA/FSMS)

Across Southern Sudan households are applying fewer coping strategies, an indication that they are currently less stressed compared to last year. In October 2009, more than seven out of 10 households reported not having enough food or money to buy food, this year only four. While last year, 65 percent reported to have reduced their number of meals and meal sizes, this year, it is only around 23 percent. Also the distress sales of livestock and consumption of seed stocks reduced remarkably (see Figure 8).

Figure 8: Coping strategies (ANLA/FSMS)

5.3.3 Food security

During the ANLA/FSMS, the household food security status is determined by three components: (1) food consumption based on dietary diversity and frequency, (2) food access based on the reliability and sustainability of income activities pursued by the household and share of food expenditure, and (3) coping strategies derived from the frequency and severity of different coping strategies employed by households. Based on these factors, households were classified into three categories: severely food insecure, moderately food insecure and food secure.

According to the findings of the 2010 FSMS/ANLA, almost 890 000 people (9.7 percent) in Southern Sudan are severely food insecure and an additional 2.4 million people (26.3 percent) are moderately food insecure. In a good or typical year, households considered to be moderately food insecure are considered to be able to cope; however, they will become food insecure in case a major shock occurs. The remaining 64 percent are considered to be food secure and relatively resilient in case a shock occurs. Overall, the situation has improved compared to 2009 and is comparable with the situation in 2008 (see Figure 9).

Figure 9: Food security trends 2008-2010 (ANLA)

The five states worst off are Eastern Equatoria, Warrap, Lakes, Jonglei and Northern El Bahr Ghazal, (see Figure 10). Compared to the previous year, the food security situation improved across the entire region except for Warrap and Lakes where food insecurity levels remained the same. This is an indication that households were not yet able to recover from the drought last year as the harvest of the long-term sorghum is expected to take place in late 2010. An additional factor could be the exposure to floods and continued insecurity restricting the mobility of people and livestock this year (see Figure 11). A close monitoring of the situation in Warrap and Lakes is therefore recommended.

Figure 10: Food security status by state (2010)

Figure 11: Changes in food insecurity (% of households severely or moderately food insecure)

5.3.4 Exposure to shocks

The underlying causes of food insecurity have shifted. In 2009, more than 80 percent of households reported to have been affected by the delay of rains, this year only 16 percent. On the contrary, households affected by floods increased from 6 percent to 22 percent. The states mostly affected have been Jonglei, Upper Nile, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity. Also Lakes and Warrap experienced increased exposure to flooding compared to last year which is in line with the observation made by the mission teams. More households reported exposure to human sickness which is associated with higher rainfall and increased flooding causing higher incidences of malaria and other water-borne diseases. The second main shock reported in both years was high food prices with a particular high prevalence in Upper Nile and Unity states. Overall, the perceived exposure to insecurity and violence remained the same compared to last year, however increased in Lakes caused by inter-tribal conflicts and Eastern Equatoria due to increased number of road ambushes and other incidences associated with cattle-raiding. In Lakes, 4 out 5 households reported to have been affected by insecurity, followed by Warrap, Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria, where nearly every second household was affected. One issue increasingly impacting on household’s ability to access food is lack of free access or movement, which is both associated with the flooding and/or insecurity. Increasingly levels were particularly observed in Warrap, Upper Nile and Jonglei (see Table 8 and Annex IV).

Table 8: Percent of households reporting shocks

  Insecurity/ violence High food prices Lack of free access/ movement Livestock disease Floods Human sickness Returnee/ IDP living at HH Delay of rains Weeds/ pests
EES 43 55 5 29 12 59 0 18 50
Jonglei 51 52 19 20 31 63 1 7 19
Lakes 76 43 18 15 26 63 1 16 14
Upper Nile 11 83 29 29 34 47 4 7 2
WBEG 8 59 1 12 3 80 1 33 40
NBEG 0 59 3 21 30 77 2 16 35
Warrap 46 45 31 28 16 43 1 22 19
Unity 26 69 25 19 30 84 1 10 4
Total (2010 33 57 16 21 22 65 1 16 23
Total (2009) 31 58 7 16 6 43 4 81 17
Trend compared to 2009 (+-) (+-) (++) (+) (++) (+) (-) (--) (+-)

Source: ANLA 2009/2010 and FSMS (2010)

Despite the fact that the food security situation has improved compared to last year, future prospects highly depend on the forthcoming referendum and aftermath period. It will therefore be critical to monitor the situation closely and re-assess the food security situation in the post-referendum period. Key indicators to be monitored throughout the period include market prices (including price developments in Uganda), trade flows, number of organized and spontaneous returnees, and number of newly displaced persons. In addition, seasonal forecasts for rainfall and NDVI during the planting season (March to May) would assist to early on estimate the potential performance of the 2011 agricultural season.

5.4 Nutrition situation

High rates of global acute malnutrition (GAM), which regularly exceed the emergency threshold of 15 percent, constitute a significant public health challenge in Southern Sudan. According to the 2006 Sudan Household Health Survey (SHHS), 22 percent of children were acutely malnourished with severe acute malnutrition rates of above 4 percent. Seven out of 10 states had rates above the emergency level of 15 percent. More recent surveys show rates of around 19 percent (see “Situation Analysis of Nutrition in Southern Sudan”, draft September 2009). A new representative health survey was conducted in June 2010 but results were not yet available during the time of the mission. Deficiencies of Vitamin A, iodine and iron are expected to be widespread due to limited dietary diversity and high incidences of infectious diseases. The acute malnutrition peak from April to June coincides with the dry season and is directly linked with high diarrheal incidences and to some degree with livestock and population movements and the agricultural lean season. A second smaller peak is associated with increased malaria incidences during the rainy season in August/September (see seasonal calendar in Annex V).

Figure 12: Percentage of children-under5 wasted (GAM), SHHS 2006

Malnutrition is generally attributed to the high disease burden, poor infant and young feeding practices, poor hygiene and sanitation, poor access to quality health services, and food shortages caused by recurrent shocks (drought, crop failure, insecurity, and high food prices). According to the Situation Analysis of Nutrition in Southern Sudan (draft September 2009), diarrhoeal diseases seem to be the most prominent cause of malnutrition in most of Southern Sudan. Diarrhoea is mainly caused by the use of unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation conditions and contaminated food. Overall, less than half of the population have access to improved drinking water sources and less than 6 percent of households in Southern Sudan use improved sources of drinking water and sanitation, implying that the majority are constantly at risk of water-borne diseases (SHHS 2006). The sources and quality of drinking water vary according to season. During the dry season, water sources are significantly depleted and water sources get congested and contaminated leading to increased risks of diarrhoeal diseases.

Another major concern is the food intake of young children. Young children require at least four meals per day as they are not able to absorb larger quantities in fewer meals. According to the recent ANLA/FSMS, only 3 percent of children ate four meals while two-thirds of children only ate one or two meals during the previous day (see Figure 13) though the number of meals may be underreported. A more detailed study on child feeding practices is therefore highly recommended. Also breastfeeding and infant feeding practices are poor with only between 11 and 28 percent of children under six months exclusively breastfed. Only very third child received timely complimentary feeding (SHHS 2006).

Figure 13: Percentage of children consuming meals (FSMS 2010)

Despite some recent improvements, nutrition continues to have a relatively low priority and it receives an insufficient allocation of staff and resources to support sustainable nutrition programme implementation and delivery. The coverage of targeted therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes is low and mainly concentrated in few pockets in selected states run by NGOs. It is estimated that less than 10 percent of moderately malnourished children are currently covered by supplementary feeding programmes. This and the generally high global acute malnutrition rate justify the implementation of a blanket supplementary feeding programme prior and during the two seasonal peaks.

5.5 Estimated food assistance requirements in 2011

Two scenarios were developed based on different possible trajectories of the referendum and aftermath period. Based on these two scenarios, food aid requirements were estimated.

Best-case scenario (higher food prices due to temporarily reduced trade inflows combined with increased demand, peaceful referendum process without major security incidences): Main concern will be increasing food prices caused by the increased demand from returnees and temporarily reduced trade flows, particularly in the border states as they depend highly on the imports from the north. A peaceful referendum would likely result in the resumption of trade flows in the post-referendum period but prices could be relatively inelastic due to the perceived higher risks of doing business. Majority of rural households remain resilient during the initial three months due to the favourable 2010 harvest but they would become vulnerable during the lean season when they depend highly on market purchases. In this best-case scenario only severely food insecure households in rural areas will be targeted through food distributions for four months during the lean season starting April 2011. A more likely scenario based on projections on how anticipated food prices during the referendum are likely to affect food access using the cost-of-the food basket method will be developed but analysis is still ongoing.

Contingency scenario (reduced trade inflows combined with increased demand leading to persistent high food prices combined with increased insecurity in the post-referendum period): In addition to persistent high food prices (and potentially a temporary supply crunch in the border states), households’ food security status will be at risk due to increased insecurity and internal displacement caused by escalating tensions, internal fragmentation and localized conflicts in the post-referendum period. The situation could be exacerbated by a rapid and large-scale return from Northern to Southern Sudan. In this scenario, in addition to the severely food insecure, also moderately food insecure households in states likely to be affected by multiple shocks (Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Western Bahr El Ghazal and Jonglei) will be targeted through the lean-season distribution during the peak of the lean season (May to July).

In the best case scenario, the total food assistance requirements for 2011 are estimated at 86 000 tonnes for an average monthly caseload of around 816 000 beneficiaries. About 77 percent of the estimated tonnage is comprised of cereals. The beneficiaries would include severely food insecure residents in rural areas, children vulnerable to malnutrition, refugees, IDPs and regular and referendum returnees. Approximately 322 000 newly displaced persons – mainly in Jonglei, Warrap, Lakes and Western Bahr El Ghazal – will require on average food assistance for three months. In addition, 25 500 refugees in camps in Jonglei, Western and Central Equatoria will be supported with full monthly rations. The number of regular returnees is estimated at 8 000 and referendum related returnees 70 000 who will receive a onetime distribution of a three-month ration. In addition, 12 600 children (6-59 months) from returning households will benefit from a blanket supplementary feeding for three months. Finally, a blanket supplementary feeding programme (BSFP) will be implemented in eight priority states targeting 250 000 resident children (6-24 months) and 50 000 pregnant and lactating women during the two seasonal peaks in malnutrition (April to May and August to September). Being a preventive intervention, the BSFP will already begin in March when contributing conditions are starting to deteriorate.

Figure 14: WFP food commodity trends (000 tonnes)

In the contingency scenario, 132 000 tonnes will be required for a caseload of 1.14 million beneficiaries (monthly average). This estimation includes a 3-month ration for currently moderately food insecure households in states likely to be impacted by multiple shocks. For every additional 100 000 returnees, an additional 14 900 tonnes would be required to assist them with a three-month return package and blanket supplementary feeding for children (6-59 months). The need to implement the contingency scenario will be advised by the FSMS exercise planned for February 2010.

Table 9: Estimated food assistance requirements in 2011

  Best case scenario Contingency
Average beneficiaries (monthly) Total (tonnes) Average beneficiaries (monthly) Total (tonnes)
Jonglei 157 100 17 600 236 400 28 700
EEQ 94 200 9 200 94 200 9 200
WEQ 19 500 4 600 19 500 4 600
CEQ 22 700 4 700 22 700 4 700
Warrap 121 200 12 300 204 900 24 100
WBEG 71 800 7 400 85 900 9 400
NBEG 80 400 7 500 151 800 17 500
Lakes 84 400 8 300 84 400 8 300
Upper Nile 104 200 8 700 164 000 17 100
Unity 60 700 6 000 79 900 8 700
Total 816 200 86 300 1 143 700 132 300
 
For every additional 100 000 returnees 100 000 14 900

WFP has received support from donors to ensure that 75 000 tonnes of food commodities are available for emergency distributions. As of 4 December 2010, about 47 000 tonnes were in-country. The advance positioning is scheduled to be completed by 15 December 2010. In addition, WFP also accelerated its procurement of Plumpy Doz (a Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food) for the Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme.

Figure 15 and 16 illustrate the estimated number of beneficiaries and food assistance requirement by month. The beneficiary caseload and monthly food requirement will begin to rise gradually from the start of the year peaking in April to July before starting to decline in August. The steep spike anticipated – reaching over around 1.4 million (2.7 million) vulnerable people in May is commensurate with the peak of the malnutrition and the beginning of the lean season. The beneficiary caseload is expected to fall to around 600 000 at the beginning of the dry season in October assuming that the political situation stabilizes in the second half of 2011 and depending on the performance of the 2011 agricultural season.

Figure 15: Tonnage by month

Figure 16: Beneficiaries by month

It is strongly recommended to monitor the food security situation carefully throughout 2011 in order to make appropriate adjustments throughout the year. Food security status will be re-assessed in February, June and October 2011, while food prices (including cross-border trade and food prices in Uganda), return migration and new incidences of internal displacements should be monitored on a weekly/monthly basis. In addition, seasonal forecast for rainfall and NDVI could assist to estimate the potential performance of the 2011 agricultural season early on.

6. RECOMMENDATIONS

A combination of short- and medium-term interventions is necessary to address agriculture, food security and nutrition needs. The below provides a list of selected recommendations which should be reviewed and further elaborated by GoSS and local partners.

Recommended short-term food security interventions:

  1. Contingency plans shall be in place ahead of the referendum, considering the various risks pertaining particularly in bordering States with the North. Sufficient strategic food reserves shall be pre-positioned at decentralized levels, taking advantage of the easier logistics during the dry season and before the referendum takes place. All partners, including GoSS shall share data on their food reserves in the various states and hubs. Contingency plans shall also include a close monitoring of triggers that may indicate worst case scenarios ahead.

  2. During the referendum and post-referendum transition period, provide emergency food assistance to returnees and newly displaced households. In addition, provide assistance to severely food insecure rural households during the times of anticipated high food prices and agricultural lean season. If the situation worsens, expand assistance to moderately food insecure households in the States bordering the North (contingency caseload). Blanket supplementary feeding targeting children under-2 is recommended during critical times of the year.

  3. Conduct further in-depth analysis of the local seed system and its constraints in relation to availability, access and utilization.

  4. Expand monitoring of food supplies and prices during the next 6 months in order to be alerted early of deteriorating conditions in specific locations. Develop a value-chain approach to monitor price trends as a proxy for more distant locations and forecast impacts of price changes on household food security using the costs-of-the-food basket method. In addition, conduct seasonal forecast for rainfall and NDVI using remote sensing.

  5. Monitor closely vulnerabilities related to returns, particularly in urban areas. Urban vulnerability is not systematically monitored in Southern Sudan and adapted tools to the context shall be developed.

Recommended medium-to longer term interventions:

  1. Increase GoSS budget allocated to agriculture and develop a clear policy framework for the utilisation of increased resources.

  2. Improve coordination and analytical capacity of Governmental and non-Governmental interventions related to agriculture and food security, particularly at State and County levels.

  3. Conduct a rigorous agricultural survey to establish a solid baseline on crop production. The land cover data provides the necessary base upon which a sample survey can be designed.

  4. Improve integration of existing food security and market information systems.

  5. Conduct an evaluation of mechanization programs to identify constraints and best practices.

  6. Gradually shift the emergency interventions to a more safety-net oriented programme by increasing national preparedness and rapid emergency response capacities and investing in early recovery and restoration of community and household assets through protective and productive safety nets.

  7. Explore potentials to expand local purchases (P4P) of commodities for food assistance programmes in the Greenbelt livelihood zone, analyzing also the risks for farming households.

  8. Expand all weather feeder roads network for better market integration.

 ANNEX



This report has been prepared by Raphy Favre and Mario Zappacosta (FAO) and Claudia Ah Poe (WFP), under the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and other sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.

Shukri Ahmed
Senior Economist, EST/GIEWS
Trade and Markets Division, FAO

Fax:  : 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail: giews1@fao.org
Amer Daudi
Regional Director and Country Representative
WFP, Sudan
Fax:  : 00249 83 248003
E-mail: Amer.Daudi@WFP.org

Please note that this Special Report is also available on the Internet as part of the FAO World Wide Web (www.fao.org) at the following URL address: http://www.fao.org/giews/ and http://www.wfp.org/foodsecurity/reports/CFSAM

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1. EIU, Sudan Country Report, October 2010.

2. IMF, Country Report No. 10/256, June 2010.

3. SSCCSE, Press Release, Consumer Price Index for October 2010.

4. GoSS, Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning, Approved Budget 2010.

5. Loan to be repaid by farmers in kind.

6. Part of it through Salam loans.

7. Transport is mainly done by barges along the Nile.

8. The breakdown by county is the following: Renk County: 294 thousand hectares; Manyo County: 105 thousand hectares; Maban County: 11 thousand hectares; Melut county: 33 thousand hectares.