Reference Date: 27-May-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Planting of 2015 sorghum and millet crops has just started in southern areas
Cereal prices are stable at low levels in most markets, but rising in some conflict-affected areas
Food security situation improved by end of last year following well above-average 2014 cereal crop production
Most acute food insecure people remain among IDPs in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and West Kordofan states
Planting of 2015 cereal crops has just started
Land preparation is well advanced in most cropping areas of the country and planting of 2015 sorghum and millet crops (to be harvested by October/November) has just started in some southern zones bordering South Sudan, where seasonal rains had an early onset during the first and second dekads of May.
According to the findings of the Government-led annual Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission, the 2014 cereal production (including the small irrigated wheat crop harvested in March 2015) is estimated at a record of 7.9 million tonnes, about three times the poor output of the previous year and almost double the last five-year average. The bumper crop allowed a substantial building-up of stocks, with some good possibility for exports. Import requirements for wheat and wheat flour in marketing year 2014/15 (November/October) are forecast at normal levels.
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 map on the right). However, moderate moisture deficits still prevail in parts of Sennar, Blue Nile, South Kordofan and South Darfur states, following erratic precipitations.
Cereal prices increase in some conflict-affected areas
Prices of locally produced sorghum and millet, the main staples, sharply declined, by up to 40 percent, in the last quarter of 2014, as the commercialization of the bumper 2014 harvest increased supplies. Subsequently, in the first five months of 2015, prices were stable at low levels in most monitored markets and, in May 2015, prices of sorghum and millet were about 20 and 30 percent lower than 12 months earlier, respectively, due to the abundant availabilities from the record 2014 cereal production.
However, prices of sorghum increased in recent months in Al Fashir (North Darfur State) and Kadugli (South Kordofan State) due to trade disruptions caused by the escalation of conflict. In Al Fashir, prices steadily increased since early 2015, and in May 2015 they were about 30 percent higher than in February. In Kadugli, prices increased by 10 percent in March and stabilized in April due to food aid distributions, but they subsequently resumed their upward trend surging by 30 percent in May.
Prices of wheat, mostly imported and consumed in urban areas, declined by 5 percent in March in the capital Khartoum as the local harvest increased supplies. Subsequently, prices increased by about 10 percent in April and levelled off in May, at about the same levels of 12 months earlier.
Food security improved from last October, but concerns remain in most conflict-affected areas
Countrywide, food security conditions have significantly improved since the end of last year when newly-harvested crops increased local supply and reduced most vulnerable households’ dependence on markets. Following the above average 2014 cereal crop production, most households have still some stocks and the lean season in 2015 is expected to start in June, about one month later than usual.
Currently, the number of people in need of food assistance (IPC Phases: 3 and 4) is estimated at 1.4 million, mainly IDPs in conflict-affected states of Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and West Kordofan. Since last March, about 20 000 people have been newly displaced in Darfur following widespread tribal conflicts, mostly driven by competition over natural resources and cattle raiding.
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 the Sudan’s national revenue and availability of foreign exchange. In addition, by mid-May 2015, over 146 000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in the Sudan (concentrated in White Nile, Khartoum and West Kordofan states) and they are in need of humanitarian assistance in terms of food, shelter and basic services.