The net cereal production in 2018 (after deduction of post-harvest losses and seed use) in the traditional sector is estimated at about 745 000 tonnes, 15.5 percent below the average of the previous five years and 2.5 percent less than 2017. It is the smallest recorded output since the start of the conflict.
In January 2019, 54 percent of the population (about 6.2 million people) were in IPC (Integrated Phase Classification) Phase 3: “Crisis”, Phase 4: “Emergency” and Phase 5: “Catastrophe”. This is only a modest decrease from the levels reached in September 2018, but it shows a 13 percent increase compared to the same time last year, indicating a steadily worsening food security situation. These proportions are projected to increase in May-July 2019 to 60.3 percent, including a possible 50 000 people in Phase 5: “Catastrophe”. This is despite the planned humanitarian assistance, in the absence of which the figure would reach 67 percent. The most serious situations are in Unity, Jonglei and Lakes states.
Household food insecurity has reached new records in 2018: 74 percent of the population was estimated to be food insecure at post-harvest time. This mostly arises from a spike in severe food insecurity across the country, with 26 percent of the population severely food insecure by late 2018. In the coming lean period of mid-2019, food insecurity levels are expected to increase further.
The poor performance of the 2018 cropping season was mainly due to below-average and erratic rains constraining yields, and persisting and protracted insecurity disrupting agricultural activities.