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Sudan’s lean season to continue into November

November 15 - 2015 KHARTOUM
A woman tending her farm in Darfur (file photo)
A woman tending her farm in Darfur (file photo)

The late start of the rains and a delayed harvest in many places across Sudan, means that the lean season will continue into early November, instead of ending in late September/early October, says the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) Food Security Outlook Report for October 2015.

Poor households and people affected by conflict will likely face an increase in food insecurity during this year’s lean period.

At the beginning of the harvest in late October, families will have food from their own harvest and/or food purchased from the market through income generated from agricultural labour and/or the sale of cash crops, the report reads. However, the duration of the harvest will be shorter than normal, which will lead to less income generated from agricultural labour and the lower yields will reduce income from cash crops.

While most households are expected to be able to meet their food needs during the harvest, high food prices will erode the ability of many poor households to pay for all their essential non-food needs as the need to purchase food will likely continue throughout the remainder of the year. According to FEWS NET, these families will remain in ‘stressed levels’ of food insecurity at least until March.

Conflict-affected regions

Displaced people in Darfur, South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile are likely to remain food insecure with many areas experiencing ‘crisis levels’ of food insecurity. These people generally need to buy food from markets, but there are few opportunities to earn an income. Restrictions on movement limit labour migration, reduce access to land to cultivate, and reduce access to humanitarian assistance.

Many families with access to land will still have below-average harvests, and others will be unable to harvest or store their crops. A significant number of displaced people in Darfur will be able to meet their food needs and will remain in ‘stressed levels’ of food security, yet only with the availability of humanitarian assistance.

(Source: OCHA Sudan’s weekly bulletin 45)

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