MALI (8 February)
Aggregate 2004 cereal production has been estimated at about 2.99 million tones, which is 12 percent lower than the record crop harvested in 2003 but some 8 percent above the average for the previous five years. According to the FAO/WFP/CILSS Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission that visited the country in 2004, the most significant crop loss due to locusts occurred in millet (37 000 tonnes), cowpeas (3 000 tonnes) and sorghum (9 000 tonnes). Although crop loss is significant in affected areas, good crop production in the most important southern producing areas means that losses are not great at national level. Domestic production should cover most of the country’s cereal utilisation requirement, but many farming families will need food assistance as well as seeds and other inputs for off-season agriculture and even for the next main growing season.