Resilience

FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to South Sudan, 5 April 2016

FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to South Sudan, 5 April 2016
Apr 2016

Highlights

  • With a projected population of about 11.8 million people in mid-2016, the overall cereal deficit in January-December 2016 marketing year is estimated at about 380 000 tonnes, over 130 000 tonnes (54 percent) more than the deficit estimated for 2015.
  • In late 2015, 49 percent of South Sudan’s population was food insecure, a marked worsening compared to the 38 percent of one year before. Severe food insecurity is particularly high at 12 percent, double the rates of one year ago and a record level for the harvest period since at least 2010. Food security is worsening not only in conflict affected areas of Greater Upper Nile Region, but also in other states such as Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Lakes.
  • Market functioning has been very weak as a consequence of the economic downturn and the direct and indirect effects of conflict/insecurity. Cereal prices increased 3-5 times in 2015 following the sharp devaluation of local currency in the parallel market and the increasing transport costs due to high fuel prices, multiple formal and informal taxation and insecurity along roads.
  • Seasonal rains in 2015, however, have been abundant until the end of the season in December, especially in Central and Eastern Equatoria states and in Greater Bahr el Ghazal Region and northern Upper Nile State.
  • Rains favoured yields of local long-maturing cereal landraces which are able to withstand moisture deficits, while early-maturing cereal crops in sandier areas suffered from mid–season dry spells. In lower-lying areas, with high clay content soils, the absence of usual water-logging and endemic flooding improved crop performance.
  • Accordingly, the 2015 net cereal production in the traditional sector is estimated at about 921 000 tonnes, about 9 percent below the 2014 very good output, but still about 16 percent above the last five-year average production. Major reductions in cereal production are estimated in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria states due to unfavourable rainfall as well as in Western Equatoria State due to the disruption of cropping activities following worsening security conditions.
  • Livestock conditions were generally good due to adequate pasture and water availability. However, widespread events of cattle raiding and altered marketing/migration routes have been reported during the last two years in the areas of major conflict/insecurity, leading to high concentration of livestock ownership.
  • Markets remain the major overall supplier of staple cereals to South Sudan households, although their contribution has undergone significant decreases since the start of the conflict. Households continue to exhibit very high expenditure on food both in the conflict areas and places further away from the typical cereal supply entry points such as the Uganda border. Therefore, if food prices continue to rise, food security is expected to further deteriorate.
  • The number of wholesale traders present in the main markets and the level of their food stocks have steadily declined in 2015, as a consequence of insecurity, low purchasing power of consumers and difficult access to foreign exchange to buy imports.
  • In 2016, WFP plans to assist 3 million people in South Sudan providing just under 315 000 tonnes of food. Although a large component (1.5 million) addresses the needs of people directly affected by conflict in the Greater Upper Nile Region, WFP assistance will also focus on school feeding (also within conflict regions), nutrition interventions and food for assets programmes.

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