FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURE
Food security continues to deteriorate in the Two Areas
Blue Nile (Southern Kurmuk County)
Replanting and weeding were the main activities on both nearby and far farms. Seedlings planted reportedly dried out in most areas following a dry spell in June and July after planting. The affected farmers carried out a replanting to cope up with rainfall parttern changes and this will affect the normal harvesting period (months) of crops especially the short-duration sorghum, maize, ground nuts, beans and cow peas, among others. The change in rainfall pattern following dry spell (June, July) is most likely to have a negative impact on the overall crop production for 2021-2022 season. Farmers reported harvesting of early maturing crops (sorghum and sesame in few areas) and vegetables such as pumpkins and local vegetable varities during the month of August from near farms. However, local authorities reported an overall poor jibraka harvest, particularly of maize and short-duration sorghum. In July, 1,565 households received seeds from two local partners.
In August, 9,000 farmers received food and hoes from one of the partners. Despite food relief aid, food security remained generally low, raising fears of food shortages in the coming two months of September and October 2021.
Three out of four main crossline markets were fully operational. Market remained the main source of food in Blue Nile region. However, prices of food and non-food items (sugar, coffee, soap, salt and fuel as well as livestock) remained higher than normal. For example, Bala market, the main supplier of maize and sorghum flour from Ethiopia to Yabus, has been closed for one month due to ongoing fighting in Ethiopia hence, affecting food security in the area.
While farmers in Um Durain were weeding their crops (particularly on far and mechanized farms), those in Heiban and Western Kaduguli replanted theirs after the dry period. A seed distribution in July assisted 5,400 households, including the enclaves of Rashad and Abbasiya.
Food security improved in Dallami county in August, as 1516 households received 50kg maize, 5kg beans, 500gm salt and 3 liters of oil each, through the help of one of the partners. However, levels of food insecurity for pockets of population in other parts of South Kordofan are severe, and expected to deteriorate even further in coming months.
The average land prepared per household on near farms this season was low compared to last year, primarily due to insecurity caused by continued cattle raids in Dilling and Al Sunut counties and, the lack of capital for machinery. Please note that 550 (of which, 250 in Dilling and 300 in Lagawa) low-income households received seeds, fuel and spare parts for tractsors and maintenance services. In addition, 300 households benefited from seed distribution. However, due to continued killings in the area, access to far farms has been hindered. This development is likely to affect the next harvest.
According to CU County Coordinator reports, households continued to report depleted food stocks, with around 60 per cent depending on wild leaves, hunting and casual labour as their main source of food. In Al Sunut county, for example, communities’ coping mechanisms have been stretched to the limit (e.g. adults missing meals in so that at least their children can eat, having one meal a day or the daily portion reduced in size). Also see FSMU July 2021 Quarterly Final.pdf
Prices of items remained high, caused by high transportation costs as well as insecurity to crossline markets. Additionally, diminished labor opportunities resulting in low purchasing power, inflation in Sudan and new arrivals are limiting food access. Insecurity coupled with surging food prices will potentially worsen the food security situation later on in the year.