Despite the difficult security situation in most of the north of the country, market supplies of staple cereals remain near average. On the other hand, the ban on cereal exports to Niger and the opening of 20 points of sale for cereals subsidized by the government have contributed to the stabilization of prices compared to past months. Overall in main markets, prices for cereals remain above the five-year average: 15 to 33 percent for millet and 22 to 41 percent for sorghum, except in Gorom-Gorom market where prices are stable.
Although prices for small ruminants being above the five-year average, the high prices of staple cereals do not favor market access for poor market-dependent households. Terms of trade for goats/millet or goats/sorghum has decreased compared to normal in Livelihood Zones 8 and 7 by about 33 and 26 percent respectively. In Livelihood Zone 5 terms of trade remain stable overall.
Main sources of income for poor households include livestock sales and gold panning, with increased movement to these sites. Due to the increased prices for staple foods, supply of small ruminants at markets has increased about 10 percent compared to average. Nevertheless, demand remains higher than average, except for the decrease of about 15 percent in Gorom-Gorom. In border communes, particularly those most affected by insecurity, the number of livestock collectors has decreased, and the length of markets has become shorter, which contributes to a decrease in prices for farmers.
Cases of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) recorded in the first trimester of 2018 at health facilities in the Sahel region are generally slightly below (4 percent) those recorded during the first trimester of 2017. However, the reduction in the number of meals per day by households (one meal rather than the usual two) and the deterioration of livelihoods in Livelihood Zone 8 leaves poor households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). On the other hand, in Livelihood Zones 7 and 5 where households still have access to two meals per day like usual, most poor households continue to be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) level of food insecurity.