Reference Date: 22-January-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Coarse grain production is estimated at record high level due to favourable rains and increased planted area in key cropping areas
Cereal prices continue to seasonally decline in most markets
Food security situation started to improve from October as green crops became available for local consumption
Most acute food insecure people are concentrated among IDPs in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states
Record cereal production harvested in semi-mechanized and traditional rain-fed sectors
Harvesting of the 2014 cereal crops has just been completed and production is estimated at record high levels. Rains have been generally favourable during the cropping season, with abundant cumulative amounts and good spatial and temporal distribution. In addition, better access to credit and high food prices induced farmers to increase plantings. The rain-fed sector, both semi-mechanized and traditional, registered major gains in sorghum and millet production, especially in eastern states of Sennar, Gedaref and Kassala.
According to the findings of the 2014/15 Government-led annual Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission, cereal production (including the small irrigated wheat crop to be harvested from next March) is estimated at a record of 7.84 million tonnes, about three times the poor output of the previous year and almost double the last five-year average. A substantial building-up of stocks is expected, with some possibility for exports. Import requirements for wheat and rice are forecast at normal levels.
Good pasture conditions across the country
Average to above-average pasture conditions (as shown by the NDVI map on the right) still prevail across the country as a result of favourable rains that continued until mid-October. Good livestock body condition and satisfactory milk production levels are consequently reported in most areas.
Cereal prices declining in most markets
Wholesale sorghum prices reached record high levels in October 2014, at the peak of the lean season and then started to decline as newly-harvested crops became available for local consumption. By December 2014, sorghum prices were about 40 percent below the October 2014 record high levels in most markets. In Darfur, the decline in sorghum prices started earlier in July/August 2014, coinciding with subsidized grain sales by the Strategic Reserve Corporation, the resumption of direct food aid distribution and WFP’s decision to exclude cereals from the food voucher system which reduced the local demand for sorghum.
In the main millet producing and consuming areas of Darfur and Kordofan, record high prices of millet were registered in August 2014. Subsequently, with the start of harvesting operations of early maturing millet varieties in September, prices started to decline and, between August and December 2014, millet prices have declined by 20-40 percent as a result of improved supplies.
In the capital, Khartoum, prices of wheat, mostly imported and consumed in urban areas, declined for the third consecutive month in December 2014, partly due to increased availability of other cereals. However, prices were still about 20 percent higher than the corresponding period last year, due to the strong local demand and high general inflation.
Food security began to improve form last October
Countrywide, food security conditions have improved since the beginning of green crop consumption in October. Currently, the number of people in need of food assistance, estimated at 3.5 million (IPC Phases 2 and 3), is over 30 percent less than the peak registered in September 2014. Most food insecure people are IDPs in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Overall, food security conditions are expected to improve further, as the newly-harvested crops increase supply, and reducing most vulnerable households’ dependence on markets. However, persistent insecurity is expected to continue limiting humanitarian access in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan State.
The conflict in South Sudan continues to have a significant impact on food security in the Sudan. As oil production in South Sudan fell by about 35 percent since December 2013, the export fees collected for the use of the pipeline and port facilities in Port Sudan dropped dramatically with consequent reduction in Sudan’s national revenue and availability of foreign exchange. In addition, by mid-January 2015, about 120 000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in the Sudan and they are in need of humanitarian assistance in terms of food, shelter and basic services.