FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Unfavourable production prospects for 2016 “vuli” crops for harvest early next year
Maize prices at low levels in most markets
Food insecurity persists in some northern parts were below‑average 2016 “masika” crops were harvested, as well as among refugees hosted in camps
As of early November 2016, refugees and asylum seekers (mainly from Burundi) were estimated at 245 000
Erratic start of “vuli” rains affects crop establishment in most northern areas
In most northern bi-modal rainfall areas, planting of the 2016 “vuli” season crops, normally completed in October, is still underway as seasonal rains had a late onset at the beginning of October with a delay of about 2-3 dekads. So far, rains have been poor and erratic with re-plantings required in several areas. Prospects for the “vuli” season harvest, to be gathered early next year, are generally unfavourable as meteorological forecasts point to below average rainfall amounts until December.
In central and southern uni-modal rainfall areas, land preparation for the 2017 “msimu” season crops is underway and planting is expected to start as soon as the seasonal rains will be fully established in the coming weeks.
Preliminary forecasts of the 2016 aggregate cereal production (including a forecast of the 2016 “vuli” production), point to a 9.8 million tonnes output, slightly below the 2015 bumper production but still about 7 percent above the previous five-year average. The cereal import requirements for the 2016/17 (July/June) marketing year are forecast at about 920 000 tonnes (mainly wheat, wheat flour and limited amounts of rice), about 3 percent less than in the previous year.
Maize prices at low levels due to adequate domestic availabilities and reduced exports
In Dar es Salaam, the largest urban centre, located in a uni-modal rainfall area, prices of maize declined by 16 percent between April and June as crops from the above-average “msimu” harvest increased supplies. Subsequently, prices seasonally increased by about 8 percent between June and October. By contrast, in Arusha, located in a bi-modal rainfall area, maize prices increased by about 18 percent between June and October as the minor “masika” season harvest was severely affected by erratic rainfall. Overall, maize prices in October were around or below their levels of 12 months earlier in all monitored markets, reflecting adequate domestic availabilities and reduced exports.
Food insecurity persists in northern parts and among refugees
Overall, the country’s food security situation is favourable. However, pockets of food insecurity persist in some marginal areas of northeastern Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Pwani and Tanga regions, where 2016 “masika” crops, harvested in July/August, were seriously compromised by unfavourable rains and household stocks have already been depleted. Food security is also worsening for poor households in northwestern Kagera region due to the destruction and damage to assets and infrastructures and the loss of employment opportunities following the September earthquake.
As of early November 2016, about 245 000 refugees and asylum seekers are residing in Kigoma and Kagera regions as a result of violence and political instability in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The influx of refugees from Burundi has accelerated in September and October with over 10 000 people per month arriving into the country compared with an average entry rate of about 4 500 refugees per month during the first eight months of the current year. Most refugees face difficult food security conditions, especially the new arrivals that have not been able to plant any “vuli” crops and rely entirely on humanitarian assistance.