Reference Date: 06-June-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Planting of 2013 main season cereal crops is underway
Favourable rainfall forecast in June to August in most cropping areas
Prices of cereals remain at high levels
About 4.25 million people estimated to be food insecure, mainly in conflict-affected areas
Planting of 2013 cereal crops has just started
Land preparation is well advanced in most cropping areas of the country and planting of 2013 sorghum and millet crops has just started in some southern zones following the onset of rains during the second and third dekads of May. By early-May and before the start of the rainy season in South Kordofan, FAO and partner NGOs have prepositioned seeds and tools and some goats for re-stocking. Recent rains have also started to regenerate pasture and browse which were severely depleted after several months of dry weather conditions.
According to the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), June to August 2013 rains are forecast at normal to above normal levels in most cropping areas, with positive prospects for yields and pasture conditions. Relatively lower rainfall amounts are expected in Northern, Western and Southern Darfur as well as in western areas of South Kordofan state and in the Abyei disputed area.
Cereal prices are firm at high levels
Prices of domestic cereals (mainly sorghum and millet), after having declined in the second semester of last year as the main 2012 harvest increased supplies, remained firm from January 2013 onwards in most monitored markets. Currently, prices of sorghum and millet are below the very high levels of 12 months earlier (when production was halved by a severe drought), but remain more than two times higher than 24 months earlier, mainly on account of increased production costs, such as labour and fertilizers, exceptionally high inflation rates and increased informal exports to neighbouring countries (especially to South Sudan).
Prices of wheat, mainly consumed in urban areas and mostly sourced from the international market, continue to follow the upward trend which started in mid-2012, increasing by 17 percent between January and May. Currently, in Khartoum wholesale market, wheat is traded at a high level of SDG 240 (USD 55.5) per 90 kg sack, about 40 percent higher than 12 months earlier, mainly due to high inflation rate, limited foreign currency reserves and devaluation of the Sudanese pound.
Food insecurity conditions persist in most conflict-affected areas
Countrywide, about 4.25 million people are currently estimated to be in need of food assistance. High levels of food insecurity are reported in North and South Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states as well as in Abyei area due to the impacts of conflict on production, market access and livelihood options. Humanitarian access to these areas continues to be very limited, hampering the timely delivery of food aid. In particular, acute food insecurity persists among internally displaced people which fled following inter-tribal fighting in different parts of the country and whose number continues to increase. Overall food security conditions are expected to deteriorate in the coming months, until the start of next harvest in October/November, as food stocks run out progressively and push prices further up.