Food Security Snapshot
- Favourable rainfall conditions and timely provision of inputs lead to above average production in 2018
- Despite above-average production, 2018/19 imports remain stable or slightly decrease
- Cereal prices stable or declining following seasonal trends
- Overall food security generally satisfactory
Above-average cereal production gathered in 2018
Harvesting activities for millet, sorghum and maize crops have almost finalized, while harvesting of rice and groundnut crops is still ongoing and will be completed by end-January. Due to favourable rainfall conditions and timely provision of inputs by the Government, the 2018 cereal production is estimated at about 2.5 million tonnes, about 35 percent above average and similar to last year’s record. Major increases were observed in millet and maize production.
In main grazing areas of the country, favourable rains ensured sufficient and quality pastures for livestock as well as an adequate replenishment of main water points. Overall, animals have satisfactory body conditions and improved market value. The animal health situation is generally stable, with no major disease outbreaks recorded.
The country relies heavily on rice imports, which account for approximately half of the total domestic cereal requirements. On average, the country imports about 1.8 million tonnes of cereals, including about 1.2 million tonnes of rice and about 500 000 tonnes of wheat. Although, cereal production is estimated at an above-average level in 2018, imports in 2018/19 are forecast to remain stable or slightly decrease as traders are expected to replenish their stocks.
Cereal prices declining on most markets
In most markets, prices of millet declined in October 2018, with the expectation of a good 2018 harvest and were significantly lower than a year earlier level. Prices of imported rice, the most consumed cereal in the country, remained relatively stable, while those of husked rice, locally produced and with higher quality, recorded some increases in October 2018, before the new harvest began in November 2018.
Pockets of food security remain among most vulnerable population
According to the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), high private investments in oil, energy, transport infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, textiles and information technology will continue to maintain a stable economic growth of about 7 percent in 2018. The positive geological findings, including oil and gas, and the stable political environment, also contribute to maintain a robust economic growth.
Despite the overall satisfactory food security situation, pockets of food insecurity remain and food assistance is needed by the most vulnerable population. According to the November 2018 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 94 500 people were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above during the period October-December 2018, down from 315 000 in October-December 2017. The caseload is projected to increase to 375 700 from June to August 2019 period, if mitigation measures are not taken.