BURKINA FASO (8 February)
Aggregate cereal output in 2004 has been provisionally estimated by a joint FAO/CILSS Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission at 3.06 million tonnes, some 14 percent lower than the record crop harvested in 2003 but still above the average for the previous five years. Output of sorghum, the most important cereal crop, decreased by 8 percent to 1.48 million tonnes. Millet and maize declined by 26 percent and 11 percent respectively to 881 000 tonnes and 594 400 tonnes. Output of fonio increased by some 22 percent to some 11 000 tonnes. Dry weather and Desert Locusts infestation have caused severe damage to crops and pastures in the northern areas near the Mali border. Oudalan province was the most affected with crop losses estimated at nearly 100 percent for millet and 80 percent for pastures. In the northern region some 98 villages are reported to be at risk while in the centre-north the decline in production is estimated between 30 percent and 50 percent. Although national food supply was not significantly affected by the fall in production in the north, cereal prices have increased steeply in the localities affected by drought and desert locusts. The Government has organized cereal distribution in affected communities, which helped slow down price increases and improve access to food.
Commercial imports of cereal in the marketing year ending in October 2005 are forecast to increase to about 217 000 tonnes (180 000 tonnes of rice and 37 000 tonnes of wheat). Commercial cereal imports in 2003/04 were estimated at some 140 000 tonnes.