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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 04-July-2017


  1. Planting of 2017 cereal crops benefiting from early onset of seasonal rains

  2. Above-average 2016 cereal production due to favourable rains

  3. Pasture conditions improving across the country

  4. Prices of cereals stable in most markets

  5. Worrying food security situation in conflict-affected areas and for South Sudanese refugees

Planting of 2017 cereal crops benefiting from early onset of seasonal rains

Planting of 2017 sorghum and millet crops, to be harvested from October, has recently started in main southern cropping areas. Land preparation and sowing activities benefited from an early onset of the June-September rainy season, with abundant rains received in the first and second dekads of May.

According to the findings of the Government-led annual Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission, the 2016 cereal production (including the small irrigated wheat crop harvested in March 2017) was estimated at a record of 7.9 million tonnes, more than twice the drought-affected output of the previous year and about 80 percent above the average of the previous five years. Despite the good crop performance at national level, localized production shortfalls were recorded in South Kordofan and North Darfur states, due to erratic rainfall and protracted conflict disrupting agricultural activities.

According to the latest Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF) weather forecast, the June-September rains are likely to be average in southern and southeastern cropping areas and above-average in southwestern areas.

Pasture conditions improving across the country

Pasture conditions are gradually recovering from the long November-to-May dry season as shown by positive NDVI anomalies (see NDVI map). However, moderate moisture deficits still persist in some areas, including southern parts of South Darfur, where the rainy season is not yet fully established.

Prices of cereals stable in most markets

Prices of locally-produced sorghum, the main staple, were mostly stable in recent months, recording moderate seasonal increases in some markets. In May, they were up to 30 percent below their year-earlier levels as a result of adequate domestic availabilities from the above-average 2016 harvest. Prices of millet, mainly grown and consumed in western regions, surged in Al Fashir market, located in the North Darfur Region, by more than 40 percent between January and May. Here, millet prices in May were about 30 percent higher than one year earlier due to localized production shortfalls and civil insecurity disrupting trade flows.

Prices of wheat, mostly imported and consumed in urban areas, declined by 16 percent between February and April in the capital, Khartoum, as the local harvest increased supplies. Subsequently, prices levelled off in May, when they were 23 percent higher than their year-earlier levels due to the depreciation of the local currency and high production costs.

Worrying food security situation in conflict-affected areas

According to the results of the latest IPC analysis, valid for the period June-September 2017, about 3.4 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure. Major concerns are for conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan and Darfur states, where poor households and IDPs face constrained access to livelihoods and income sources and are affected by the early depletion of cereal stocks due to localized production shortfalls during the 2016 season.

High levels of food insecurity are also reported among refugees from South Sudan. The refugee influx increased in recent months, with about 155 000 individuals arriving between January and June 2017 mainly in East Darfur and White Nile State, thus bringing the total number of South Sudanese refugees hosted in the country to about 403 000 as of mid-June 2017.