FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURE
Food security continues to deteriorate in the Two Areas
Over 3,000 livestock vaccinated in Blue Nile County
Unreliable rainfall in the Two Areas affected crop production
High food prices continue to prevail in the SPLM-N controlled areas Insecurity in Dilling and Al -Sunut counties in Western Jebels paralyses farming and market activities
Blue Nile (Southern Kurmuk County)
Agriculture, the main driver of food security, has been affected by a dry spell. As previously reported, farmers continued to replant their crops after seeds failed to germinate due to late rains causing a concern for the coming harvest, which will affect the already food-insecure households. CU reports indicate that much of the maize harvest has been lost in Blue Nile due to poor rainfall.
Food insecurity remains a major challenge in Blue Nile threatening communities. According to local authorities, 75 per cent of households in Wadaka and Yabus payams are already food insecure. It is reported that 60 per cent of households temporary moved to Maban for relief support in the form of general food distribution by UN, while communities in Hilla Jadid and Damo in Komo Ganza depended on selling items including charcoal, honey and gold in exchange for food.
Rain disruption and clashes in Ethiopia paralysed market activities for both local communities and Ethiopian traders. In Moguf and Yabus Bala markets, for example, the turn-out was low due to poor road network resulting into high prices making it untenable for the local households. Furthermore, the political situation in Ethiopia affected trade as most of the roads were closed; as a result, external food items entered local markets in insufficient quantities. Reports indicate local food items (sorghum and beans) were being sold to Ethiopian traders.
Weeding of short-duration sorghum, maize, beans and okra on the jibraka (small farms close to houses) continued as well as planting of long-duration sorghum and seasem on far away farms in Heiban and Thobo counties. Farmers in Heiban predict a poor harvest coming because of the gaps in the seasonal rainfall. In Dallami for example, levels of food insecurity remained high with 50 per cent of households depending primarily on markets exacerbated by the needs of a high number of returnees (27,096 returnees were registered in Dallami in the last 3 months).
Staple food prices remained high primarily because of high transportation costs and insecurity as a result of intercommunal clashes between local communities and Messiriya in Dilling (Julud Basha, Kabaya and Abusieda payams) and Al-Sunut counties. As a result, around 750 households are unable to tend their far farms as well as access crossline markets.