Rains have been heavier since mid-August
- Since mid-August, the rains have been heavier. This has facilitated continued planting in rainfed areas. By mid-September, up to 65 percent of average area was planted, as opposed to only 40 percent planted in August. However, vegetation conditions as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) are well below average in the surplus-producing sorghum belt in eastern and central Sudan. While sorghum production prospects have improved, the late start of season, low rainfall, and below-average planted area have reduced seasonal agricultural labor demand, with daily wages being up to a third less than last year in nominal terms.
- Cereal prices started to seasonally increase from July to August. On average across monitored markets, sorghum prices increased nine percent, but in the surplus-producing sorghum belt in eastern and central Sudan, increases were higher. For example, in Gadaref, the sorghum price increased 22 percent, and in Sinar, it increased 33 percent. August sorghum prices were, on average, 29 percent below last year and 44 percent above their five-year averages.
- The most acutely food insecure people in Sudan are in conflict-affected areas of Darfur, South Kordofan, West Kordofan, and Blue Nile States. The majority of the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are in Darfur, especially among the recently displaced, but households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) can also be found among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan People Liberation Movement-North- (SPLM-N-) controlled areas of South Kordofan.
- In the wet-season grazing areas on the Al Buttanha plains in central Sudan, pasture is less available and of poorer quality than usual. As a result, in September, livestock were already being migrated southward towards agricultural land in Gadaref, Gazeira, Kassala, and Sinar States. Usually, this migration does not occur until December/January, with livestock typically arriving during or just after the harvest. As crops are in an earlier stage of development, there is a higher risk of crops being accidentally destroyed or consumed by livestock. Also, there is a higher than usual risk of conflict between those herding cattle and the year-round residents of these states.
For more detailed analysis, see the Sudan Food Security Outlook Update for August 2015.