(Relief Web) Despite the improvement, food prices remain high in September, putting poor households in Cankuzo, victims of various climate disturbances recorded in season 2011B, and those with low resilience at risk. Compared with last year’s yields, beans production in Cankuzo has dropped by 20 percent and maize and sorghum by 10 percent. However, food stocks for the poorest households depleted last month and households are expected to begin to engage in some form of coping strategies to meet their food needs as the lean season continues until December.
Burundi still records food deficits estimated at 23,820 tons of cereals equivalents, as the size of imports remain smaller than normal. The food security crisis in the Greater Horn of Africa has mobilizes food resources in the sub-region and limited import opportunities for Burundi, which is resulting in above-average food prices and limited food access for poorest households in Cankuzo. The price of beans are 19 to 22 percent higher compared with the five-year average in Cankuzo and Kirundo markets, because of reduced food inflows from Tanzania and Rwanda.
The October to December 2011 rains started well in Burundi. Current rainfall estimates indicate above-normal performance for most of the country. The impacts of the current seasonal rains have yet to be established. However, the vegetation conditions are gradually improving, but remain slightly-below normal. The onset of rains is expected to remain timely with fairly good rainfall distribution for much of the season. However, field verification indicated that as of early October only 17 percent of farmers in Cankuzo have planted due to lack of seeds and inputs in Cankuzo and Ruyigi markets. The late planting is likely to affect the production of the ongoing first harvest season in Cankuzo areas.