Reference Date: 13-June-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Planting of 2014 main season cereal crops has just started in southern areas
Abundant rains during the second half of May benefitted pasture conditions in South Kordofan and parts of South and East Darfur
Average to below average rains foreseen for the remaining of the season
Cereal prices remain at record high levels in most markets
Worsening food security situation due to conflict, displacements and high food prices
Planting of 2014 cereal crops has just started under generally favourable weather conditions
Land preparation is underway in most cropping areas of the country and planting of 2014 sorghum and millet crops has just started in some southern zones following the onset of rains during the second half of May. In particular, rains have been above average in South Kordofan and in southern parts of South and East Darfur, with positive effects on localised grazing resources (see map with positive vegetation change - NDVI in green). However, insecurity, displacements and reduced availability of productive assets may negatively impact on the overall 2014 planted area in conflict-affected states of South Kordofan, Blue Nile as well as North and South Darfur.
June to September rains forecast at average to below average levels in most cropping areas
According to the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), the June to September 2014 rains are forecast at normal to below normal levels in most cropping areas, with high likelihood of El Niño meteorological phenomenon starting as early as July. However, given the average to above average rains forecast in Ethiopian highlands, flooding along the Nile River may occur.
Cereal prices reach new record high levels in most markets
Prices of domestically produced sorghum, the main staple, have steadily increased since May/June 2013, mainly in response to reduced seasonal harvest.
In May 2014, sorghum prices rose to record levels in most markets and up to 80 percent higher than one year earlier. Millet prices also rose to record levels in Al Fashir market (North Darfur), reflecting the poor local harvest and reduced imports from neighbouring Chad, where 2013 production was below average and export restrictions have been introduced. Reduced trade flows from other producing areas within the Sudan due to high cereal prices in source markets and high transport costs due to high fuel prices and insecurity further supported increases in millet prices.
By contrast, in Kadugli market (South Kordofan State), sorghum prices recently reversed their upward trend, declining by 23 percent from March to May, while millet prices levelled off as a result of the ongoing food aid distributions by the Government and humanitarian organizations.
Prices of wheat, largely imported, are on the increase since mid-2012 in the capital Khartoum and, after a temporary decline last March during the harvest, the upward trend resumed in April and May, when prices were about 40 percent higher than 12 months earlier. Strong local demand, high prices of other cereals and the devaluation of the domestic currency have underpinned wheat price increases.
Increased food insecurity following conflict, displacements and record high food prices
Currently, an estimated 5 million people face Stressed (IPC Phase 2), Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity. The number of acute food insecure people increased by about 50 percent from the 3.3 million estimated in January 2014, due to renewed conflict and displacements, macro-economic instability, record high food prices as well as an early start of the lean season in April following the poor 2013 harvest that only partially replenished household stocks. The most food insecure population (maintained at Stress IPC Phase 2 level due to continued humanitarian assistance which prevents further deterioration), is concentrated in conflict-affected areas of Darfur (especially long-term IDPs), South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The highest levels of food insecurity (Emergency, IPC Phase 4) are, however, reported among IDPs in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan State that have limited access to markets and humanitarian assistance. Most vulnerable households in drought-prone areas of Red Sea, Kassala, White Nile and North Kordofan states are also expected to face a long and harsh lean season until the end of September, when first green crops are expected to be available for consumption and food prices begin to decline.
The ongoing conflict in South Sudan is having a significant impact on food security in the Sudan. As oil production in South Sudan fell by about 30 percent since the start of the conflict in mid-December, the export fees collected for the use of the Sudan’s pipeline and port facilities in Port Sudan dropped dramatically with consequent reduction in the Sudan’s national revenue and availability of foreign exchange. In addition, by early June 2014, over 85 500 South Sudanese refugees arrived in the Sudan and are mostly hosted in camps in White Nile and Khartoum states.