Niger Food Security Outlook January through June 2013
Strong improvement in food security
Overall, good food security outcomes observed in October/November continued into January across the country. Harvests of irrigated rice and other crops in December and January improved food security from previous months, particularly in flood-stricken departments such as Kollo, Say, Téra, Gaya, Boboye, and Tillabéri.
This year, approximately two to three million people, including refugees, will require food assistance under social programming or resilience-building programs scheduled to start up in February, compared to an annual average of four to five million. However, a 30 percent larger than usual volume of aid is earmarked for Tillaberi Department to mitigate the effects of two consecutive years of production shortfalls.
With the resumption of hostilities in Mali, security threats could disrupt normal seasonal migration patterns by transhumant livestock from the western part of the country into northern Mali between December and June. Monitoring anomalies in pastoral systems is important, given the beginning of the lean season for pastoral populations between April and June.
Low local market supply, with a stable to high demand, kept cereal prices in general and millet prices in particular above normal average levels in January (by 10 to 20 percent) due to delays in the progress of the marketing season, which was dominated by cash crop sales through the end of December. However, above-average prices have not curtailed cereal access, with markets not yet feeling pressure from local demand.