Reference Date: 28-January-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Below average 2013/14 “deyr” cereal crops expected in central/southern areas following late and erratic rains as well as floods in some riverine areas
Off-season crop production in Shabelle and Juba regions forecast at above average levels
Prices of cereals on the rise between August and December 2013 in most markets
Food security expected to worsen in southern areas with poor production prospects
Unfavourable prospects for 2013/14 “deyr” crops in central and southern cropping areas
In most central and southern cropping areas, the 2013/14 “deyr” season coarse grains were planted in November, with 4-6 weeks of delay due to late establishment of seasonal rains. Overall “deyr” production, to be harvested between March and April, is expected to be below average, with particularly low levels of production in areas of Gedo as well as Middle and Lower Juba regions bordering Kenya. In these areas, rains were firmly established only around mid-November, leading to a reduction in planted area (especially maize) of about 10-30 percent, and had erratic distribution and low amounts until their cessation in January. In some surplus-producing areas of Middle and Lower Shabelle, extensive floods in November damaged germinating crops. However, floods have allowed significant planting of off-season crops in parts of Juba and Shabelle regions and their production, to be harvested in March-May 2014, is expected to be good.
Grazing conditions quickly worsening in the south
Pasture, browse and water conditions are in average to above average conditions in most northern regions. At the beginning of November a tropical cyclone hit north-eastern Puntland region and torrential rains caused flash floods in Bari and Nugal regions that led to losses of human lives and livestock, and damage to housing and fishery infrastructures, with severe disruption of local livelihood systems. In central (coastal) and southern areas that received well below average “deyr” rains, pasture conditions and water availability are quickly worsening as the long “jilaal” dry season progresses.
Prices of locally produced cereals increasing in recent months
In several markets, prices of locally grown maize and sorghum increased in recent months as seasonal patterns have been compounded by the low supplies from the below average 2013 “gu” harvest. In Marka and Baidoa, two key markets located in major crop producing areas in the south, prices of maize increased from August to December by 11 and 13 percent, respectively, while prices of sorghum increased by 44 and 66 percent over the same period. By contrast, prices in the capital Mogadishu were mostly stable. Compared to their levels of 12 months earlier, prices of maize in December were up to 29 percent higher and prices of sorghum were up to 66 percent higher. Sorghum prices increased more sharply and reached higher absolute levels than maize prices due to a comparatively larger sorghum production shortfall.
Prices of imported rice increased moderately in most markets in the second semester of 2013 mainly reflecting the slight depreciation of the Somali shilling vis-à-vis the US dollar. However, rice prices in December were still below their levels of 12 months earlier, mainly due to the improved functioning and increased capacity of main ports which allowed a substantial increase in imports.
Worsening food security conditions in southern areas with poor production prospects
Food security conditions are expected to worsen in southern areas that experienced well below average “deyr” precipitations with negative effects on crop production and grazing resources. In riverine areas of Juba and Shabelle regions, the start of harvesting of off-season cereals in March is expected to bring some relief to local households in terms of food availability and access. In the north-east, population living in some districts of Bari and Nugal regions that were hit by a tropical cyclone in November are still recovering and are in crisis/emergency IPC phase 3-4.