Chad

FEWS bulletin Jan 2000: Chad

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In Chad’s Sahelian zone, the rainfed cereal harvest, which ended in November, is expected to be smaller than the FAO/CILSS pre-harvest estimate of 600,000 MT and may be near average levels. An Action Committee for Food Security and Crisis Management (CASAGC) mission reports the harvest was decreased toward the end of the season by pest attacks in northern Batha and in Biltine. In addition, excess moisture hampered short-cycle millet development in Kanem. However, wild food such as kreb and pastures are abundant this year.
In parts of the Sudanian zone, the rainfed long-cycle sorghum and millet harvests are still in progress. Floods resulting from heavy rains continued through October, damaging crops in flooded areas (figure 5 and figure 6). In Maro and Sahr Rural Subprefectures (Moyen-Chari Prefecture), people are already experiencing problems, especially around Danamadji (in Maro) where crops were almost completely destroyed. Farmers who usually sell part of their harvest to finance non-food expenses are presently working off-farm to earn money to buy food.

In Sudanian zone areas that were not flooded, food production was exceptional, but the harvest will not offset losses to farmer incomes resulting from poor groundnut and cotton cash-crop production and a 30 percent drop in cotton prices from last year. Much of the excellent cereal crop may be sold at low prevailing prices and shipped to urban centers. Subsequently, this could lead to localized food access problems in these as well as in flood-affected areas of the Sudanian zone during the hungry season.

A good berbéré (recessional sorghum) harvest is anticipated. In Salamat, where berbéré is the main crop, harvesting has already started in the subprefecture of Aboudeïa. In Batha, around Lake Fitri, the crop has reached maturity and the harvest is expected to start soon. In Chari-Baguirmi, farmers report some bird and rodent attacks on the crop, but a good harvest is still expected. Flood losses in the southwestern Sudanian zone could have been partially offset by recessional agriculture, but this is not a traditional practice in this area. Efforts to introduce berbéré have met with unexpected problems: in Doba, a 150 ha berbéré nursery was flooded in October, destroying the plants. However, during a December field trip, FEWS saw more berbéré in Mayo-Kébbi and Tandjilé than usual.

Foodstuff prices have been stable during the past 2 months. With the berbéré harvest starting, prices should remain low until the end of the harvest in April.

Chad - Estimated Crop Area Damaged by 1999 Floods (ha)

Prefecture
Millet
Sorghum
Groundnut
Cotton
Maize
Other
Total Food Crops
Total Crops
Moyen Chari
1,728
7,065
4,311
5,041
4,663
2,514
20,281
25,322
Logone Oriental
914
11,082
4,000
5,244
1,678
3,899
21,573
26,817
Total
2,642
18,147
8,311
10,285
6,341
6,413
41,854
52,139

Note: Flood damage figures are incomplete. Kyabé and Bekamba-Koumra (known to have sustained flood damage) data are not available.

Source: FEWS
FEWS, January 2000