• This report summarizes supply and market outlook of staple foods in 17 West Africa and Sahel countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali,
Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo) for the 2020/21 marketing year (MY), that spans from October 2020 to September 2021. Qualitative analyses also include Cameroon as part of West Africa food security network monitoring.
• Regional crop assessments forecast above-average 2020/21 cereal production in West Africa and the Sahel.
Aggregate cereal production is forecast to reach 74.7 million metric tons (MMT), similar to the previous year (2019/20) and above the previous five-year average (2015/16 to 2019/20). Maize and rice production are similar to the previous year, while sorghum and millet have increased significantly (Figure 1). Root, tuber, and cash crop trends are expected to mirror these broader regional trends with above-average production, with the exception of cotton, which will be below average.
• West Africa will maintain a surplus in coarse grain (maize, millet, sorghum, and fonio) production and structural deficits in rice and wheat (Figure 2). The projected wheat deficit is stable relative to the previous year and average, while the rice deficit has expanded further. The region will therefore continue to rely on international rice and wheat imports.
• Although opening stocks are estimated to be below average, market supplies are increasing with the harvests and release of remaining stocks. Marketing activities remain disrupted by conflict in the Greater Lake Chad basin, the Liptako-Gourma region, northeast and northcentral Nigeria, and Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon.
• The region has faced direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. By November 2020, oil-dependent Nigeria entered its second recession since 2016 following the global decline in oil demand and prices. This will have regionwide implications given Nigeria’s status as the largest West African economy. The gross domestic product (GDP) for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is projected to contract by at least two percent in 2020.
• Regional pasture production was above average and watering conditions are currently favorable for livestock production outside of conflict-affected areas. Livestock supply on markets has increased compared to previous months while export demand remains lower. Although prices for small-ruminant are stable or above average in most of the Sahel, small ruminants to cereals terms-of-trade (ToT) are below their respective 2019 and average levels because of the current elevated cereal price trends. Cattle prices have maintained a downward trend.
• Staple food prices are projected to follow seasonal trends in the coming months. However, prices will remain above their respective 2019/20 and average levels in much of the Sahel, especially those areas experiencing production deficits, above-normal institutional demand, and insecurity. Prices in Nigeria will remain well above average given the macroeconomic conditions and high transaction costs. Local and imported rice prices will remain above average in countries outside of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) monetary zones that are facing currency depreciation and inflation