FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 04/00 - MALI (29 March)

MALI (29 March)

Seasonably dry conditions prevail. Harvesting of rice is underway in the Niger River areas where fish catches are also reported to be good (almost double compared to previous year). Prospects for off-season irrigated or recession crops are particularly favourable. Reflecting adequate growing conditions, the aggregate 1999 cereal production was estimated by a joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission last October at 2 951 700 tonnes (rice in paddy form). This exceeds the 1998 record by 16 percent and is 28 percent above the average of the last five years. Production of rice increased by 13 percent and 41 percent respectively compared to 1998 and the average for the last five years, while coarse grains production increased by 17 percent and 23 percent respectively. Desert Locusts have been reported in several wadis of Timetrine. About 1 700 hectares were treated out of 2 575 hectares infested. Locusts escaping control may persist and mature in a few wadis of Adrar des Iforas.

Following two successive bumper crops, the overall food situation is satisfactory. Markets are well supplied and cereal prices declined sharply following harvest and are much lower than in the previous few years. These very low prices, due to large cereal surpluses, may cause economic difficulties for farmers in some areas. There are good opportunities for local purchases and transfer of surplus cereals to neighbouring countries or even outside West Africa. The national early warning system (SAP) estimated that only 2 arrondissements out of the 173 it monitors in the centre and the north (namely Baye in the Bankass cercle and Diankabou in the Koro cercle), are moderately at risk of food shortages following floods which destroyed rice crops. The cereal import requirement for the 1999/2000 marketing year is estimated at 100 000 tonnes of wheat and rice. No food aid is required.

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