Stressed outcomes prevail despite above-average harvests
Planting is nearly complete for Season B (February-May), and initial rainfall has generally been favorable. With an above-average rainfall forecast through May, another above-normal harvest is likely even though there were some delays in fertilizer availability at planting. Despite current and projected improved food availability, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to persist countrywide through September primarily due to macroeconomic constraints.
The ongoing sheep and goat plague in localized central and northeastern areas caused an undetermined amount of heavy livestock losses before the Government of Burundi closed the small ruminants’ markets as a precautionary measure. In April, at the peak of the lean season, the poor households, who lost goats or are unable to sell, are likely to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, as they will not have an alternate source of income to meet their minimum food needs.
Ahead of the lean season, food staple prices seasonally increased in February but are likely to remain lower than the five-year average. They are expected to start declining in late May with the initial Season B harvest. With limited income-earning opportunities, including for casual labor and livestock in many areas, poor households’ food access remains constrained.