Synthesis of WFP Rapid Food Security Assessment - June 2013

The Rapid Food Security Assessment has been conducted by WFP, FAO, staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the National Agency for Cashew (ANCA), in June, in 7 regions of the country (only Bolama Bijagós and SAB were not visited). The strategy was based on focus group discussions with communities, interviews with key informers and interview of households through questionnaires, covering 25 villages, 25 focus groups and 125 households. Main conclusions were that more than 80% of the households confirmed benefiting from cashew revenues, and that 2012/2013 cashew crop was lower when compared to previous years. In 2013, the purchase price of one kilo of cashew was between 100-150 CFA francs against 300-350CFA francs in 2011 and 2012. According to data collected during the mission, the average price of cashew was 112 CFA francs against 300 CFA francs in 2012, hence the decrease rounds 63 %. The terms of trade have also deteriorated: 1 kg of cashew nuts was exchanged against 1 kg of rice in 2011 and 2012, but in 2013, 1 kg of rice is exchanged against 3 kg of cashew nuts. The Communities informed the mission in all visited regions that the traders have interrupted the purchase of cashew since end of May. Approximately 38% of the cashew is still unsold. The failure of 2012-2013 cashew crop production had an impact on the availability of local cereal production. According to collected data, only 8% of the communities have cereals stocks to cover their needs for one month and half; 48% of communities have cereal stocks to cover one month of food consumption and 44% of communities have stocks to cover just one month. The communities who will not cover more than one month of their needs will be in severe food insecurity, starting July 2013. In respect to the Food Consumption Score (FSC), the results show that 37% of household do not have an acceptable food consumption score which means that they do not have a balanced diet. The geographical analysis shows that the region of Quinara, Biombo, Cacheu and Oio have the highest percentage of poor and borderline food consumption score. The combination of these factors (poor harvest, low purchase price and interruption of cashew purchase), high percentage of households with poor and borderline food consumption score and the households coping strategies will certainly deteriorate the food security situation of rural households during the next 3 months.