BENIN (7 September)
Rains started in mid-March in the south and were regular and widespread in April and above normal in May. They started decreasing in early June in the south and the centre while they were above normal in the north. During the first and second dekads of August rains decreased significantly but improved in the north in late August. Millet and sorghum are maturing. Overall crop prospects are favourable. Following well above average cereal harvest in 2000, the overall food supply situation is satisfactory. The arrival of the first maize crop on the markets in June/July increased supplies but prices remained generally above last years levels at the same period. They started to decrease in July/August following the sales of the first maize crop and rice food aid stocks. Cereal imports for domestic use and re exports during the 2001 marketing year are estimated at 136 000 tonnes and food aid requirements at 11 000 tonnes.
BURKINA FASO (7 September)
After reduced rains in late July and early August, precipitation improved during the second dekad of August, particularly in the centre and the north. Rains remained widespread and above average during the last dekad. The centre and the south received significant rains in late August and early September. Soil moisture reserves were adequate for cereal crops to develop satisfactorily. Maize crops are generally cobbing but localized harvesting of early sowings has started. Millet and sorghum are generally in the heading and early maturation stages. Early planted varieties are being harvested and crop prospects are favourable. The incidence of pest infestations is limited.
Following the reduced 2000 crop, overall food supply was precarious during the lean season in several deficit areas, notably in the north, the centre and the east. This situation was confirmed by a locally organized joint CILSS/FEWSNET/FAO/WFP mission in mid-July. The sale of 14 400 tonnes of cereals at subsidized prices and the release of farmer’s stocks with the anticipated good 2001 harvests have stabilized the cereal prices on the market in August.
CAPE VERDE (7 September)
After regular and widespread rains since mid- July, precipitation increased significantly in all agricultural islands during the first dekad of August. It decreased from mid-August but remained widespread. The maize crop is developing satisfactorily in the humid zones of Brava, Fogo, Santiago and São Nicolau islands. Dry spells affected development of the late-planted maize in semi-arid zones. Rains improved significantly in late August and early September in the main agricultural islands. No significant pest activity is reported. The overall food supply situation is satisfactory and cereal prices remain stable as of late August.
CHAD (7 September)
After substantial rainfall in late July, rains decreased somewhat in early August but remained widespread and above normal. They increased significantly during the second dekad of August and became abundant during the last dekad. Flooding in lowland sorghum fields is reported in the sub-prefectures of Mangalmé, Doum-Doum and the two Logones. Cumulative rainfall as of late August was well above last year’s level and above average. Soil moisture reserves are plentiful and crops are developing satisfactorily. Millet and sorghum are heading/maturing in the sudanian zone while they are tillering/elongating in the sahelian zone. Crop prospects are favourable reflecting widespread and regular rains in all agricultural zones.
Following a below-average harvest in 2000, the food supply situation remained tight during the lean season in the chronically deficit areas of the Sahelian zone. In August, a joint CILSS/FEWS-NET/WFP assessment mission visited the at- risk zones which had been affected by poor crops in 2000. Prices of millet have increased sharply during the lean season. The food aid received to date has not covered the needs. A WFP Emergency Operation is underway to provide 27 000 tonnes of food aid to 375 000 beneficiaries in eight departments of the Sahelian zone. Cereal prices eased slightly in late August reflecting anticipated good harvests of the 2001 crop.
COTE D'IVOIRE (7 September)
Rains started in late February in the south but increased significantly in March and April. Widespread and above normal rains were received in May; however, they decreased during the second dekad of June, notably in the north, but remained regular and widespread in late June and early July. Dry conditions prevailed in the south from the second dekad of July through August. In general, crops are developing satisfactorily.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. In addition to the 120 000 Liberian refugees already present in the west, an influx of new refugees has been reported following recent fighting in Lofa county in Liberia.
GHANA (7 September)
First rains were registered in the south in late February/early March and became particularly abundant during the last dekad of March and the first two dekads of April. Widespread and above- normal rains covered the country in May. They decreased in the north during the second dekad but improved in the last dekad of June. The north registered reduced rains in July and August while dry conditions prevailed in the south. Growing conditions for coarse grains are generally good and crop prospects are favourable.
Reflecting poor harvests in several regions in 2000, the food supply situation is tight in some areas. Heavy rains in July caused flooding in the south and the capital, hampering marketing activities. The government announced plans to halve its rice imports in 2001 by developing more than one million hectares of inland valleys for rice production. About 10 000 Liberian and up to 2 500 Sierra Leonean refugees remain in the country.
GUINEA (7 September)
First rains were registered in the south in late March, and subsequently covered the entire country in May. They remained widespread and above normal in June. They were abundant during the first and the last dekad of July, particularly in the west and the centre. They decreased in the western part during the second dekad of August but widespread and above normal rains covered most of the country during the last dekad. Cereal crops are maturing satisfactorily. Crop prospects are favourable.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory and markets are generally well supplied, except in the southeast where recurrent rebel incursions from Sierra Leone have severely affected agriculture and marketing activities.
The security situation has improved in border areas with Sierra Leone. UNHCR completed the evacuation of refugees from the Parrot's Beak to new refugee camps in Upper Guinea in the Prefectures of Albadaria (Boreah, Kountaya, and Telikoro camps) and Dabola (Sembakounya camp) camp and it closed the Massakoundou camp, which formerly housed an estimated 25 000 refugees. The Mambia camp near Kindia has been established as a transit center for those Sierra Leonean refugees who may seek to repatriate. Refugees preferred to remain in the Parrot's Beak or return to Sierra Leone on their own, rather than be relocated to another camp in Upper Guinea. Some have planted crops and others are finding day labor. Several relief agencies continue to provide assistance.
The recent outbreak of violence in neighbouring Lofa County in Liberia has forced Liberian refugees across the Guinean borders near Macenta and N'Zerekore. The Kouankan camp in the Macenta Prefecture houses an estimated 13 500 refugees. There are about 180 000 IDPs in the country. With the improved stability and reconstruction efforts in the major market town of Gueckedou, many IDP's have begun to move back to their homes and to their fields in hopes of a renewed market demand for their crops.
Since September 2000, about 75 000 Sierra Leoneans have returned from Guinea. A transit camp has been established in Conakry to organise repatriation of refugees by boat to Freetown where reception facilities are available. With the reopening of the Conakry to Freetown road, relief agencies have discussed the possibility of moving returning refugees overland.
GUINEA-BISSAU (7 September)
After reduced rains in mid and late July, rainfall improved significantly in August, particularly during the first two dekads when it became regular and well distributed across the country. It was also abundant during the last dekad of August and in early September. Transplantation of swamp rice is about to be completed. Early transplanted rice is tillering while millet, sorghum and upland rice are elongating/heading. Harvesting of the early maize has started in Bafata and Gabu regions. Crop prospects are favourable particularly in the eastern regions. However, locusts infestations are reported in rice fields in the south, near Catchaque and Mato Faroba.
A locally-organized joint FAO/WFP assessment of the 2001 crop season and the national food security indicated in early August that the availability of food was reduced by the failure of the 2000 cashew marketing. The food supply situation along the border with Senegal was tight due to insecurity.
LIBERIA* (7 September)
Rains started in late February in the south and progressed northwards in March, becoming abundant in April. They were regular and above normal in May and early June. They decreased gradually from the second dekad of June but remained widespread in the north as of mid-August. Dry conditions prevailed in the south in August. Conditions are generally good allowing satisfactory rice crop development. Rice is about to be harvested and prospects are generally favourable.
Food supply difficulties persist, as domestic production has not fully recovered from several years of civil war. It is estimated that there are a total of about 70 000 Sierra Leonean refugees and 360 000 Liberian returnees, mainly in Lofa county, one of Liberia’s main rice producing areas. Recent fighting in Lofa county has disrupted farming and displaced thousands of people. Food distributions have been undertaken in IDP's camps but some areas remain inaccessible to relief agencies.
MALI (7 September)
Precipitation was generally widespread and abundant in July and August. There was a decrease in rainfall in early August but it improved during the second and third dekads. The southeast registered abundant rains in late August. Cumulative rainfall is above last year’s level and above normal. Satellite images for the first week of September indicate that the northwest of the agricultural zones received above normal rains. Crops are developing normally and irrigated rice is tillering. No Desert Locusts activity is reported. An above average to record harvest is anticipated.
The overall food situation is satisfactory. However, almost 400 000 persons were classified to be “at risk of food difficulties” by the SAP (national early warning system) and received food assistance in Mopti, Tombouctou, Gao and Kidal regions.
MAURITANIA (7 September)
Following reduced rains in late July, precipitation improved significantly in the south in early August, but decreased during the second dekad. The northern parts of the producing zones received above normal rains in late August. Rains became unusually abundant in some localities of Gorgol and Brakna causing damage to young crops. By contrast, most producing zones in the south received limited rains during the second and third dekads of August. Cumulative rainfall as of late August was below last year’s level and below average. Irregular rains in August affected development of late planted crops. Early millet and sorghum are at vegetative stage, while irrigated rice is heading.
Apart from the departments of Maghama (southeast of Gorgol) and Sélibaby (Guidimakha), the regeneration of pastures in most pastoral zones has been hindered by the dry spell in mid-August. Treatments against grain eating birds have been undertaken in Trarza and Gorgol. Isolated and limited numbers of Desert Locusts are reported in the south. Small-scale breeding is underway but no significant developments are likely.
The food supply situation is generally good despite an increase in the price of imported rice and other staple food in July and August. A joint CILSS/FEWS-NET/FAO/WFP mission in early August found a deterioration of the food situation in many areas in the Aftout and the Senegal River valley. It recommended food distributions in these vulnerable zones.
NIGER (7 September)
After above-normal rains in late July, rainfall decreased somewhat in early August. It improved significantly during the second dekad of August notably in the centre where it was abundant. Precipitation remained widespread and above average in late August and early September. Cumulative rainfall as of late August was generally above last year’s level and above normal. Crops are developing satisfactorily in all agricultural zones. Grasshopper and other insect infestations are reported in several departments; treatments have been undertaken locally. No Desert Locust activity is reported. Early harvests of millet have started in Zinder region. An above average to record crop is anticipated.
Following a below-average crop in 2000, a locally- organized joint CILSS/FEWS-NET/FAO/WFP mission in mid-August found that cereal prices were high and the food situation was tight in Ouallam, Filingué and Loga areas. Prices of cereals increased significantly and remained higher than average during the lean season. The most at-risk zones are in Tchirozérine, Maïné-Sorea, N’Guigmi, Filingué and Ouallam arrondissements. A total of about 53 000 tonnes of cereals have been distributed or sold at subsidised prices from international food assistance and governemental initiatives. More than 1 billion F.CFA francs has been made available from the National Food Security Fund and the Donor Common Fund to buy cereals. In addition, 2 000 tonnes of seeds have been distributed in the affected areas. Financial assistance has also been given for off-season irrigated crops.
NIGERIA (7 September)
Rains started in the southeast in early March and covered the entire country in late April. They were particularly abundant in the south and the centre in April and May. After reduced rains in mid-June, precipitation became widespread and above average in late June and July. Rains remained regular and widespread in the north but very limited in the south in August. Most cereals are in the maturation stage. Harvesting of the main maize and rice crops has started in some regions.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory.
SENEGAL (7 September)
After limited rains in the north and the centre in late July, precipitation improved significantly in the west during the first dekad of August. From 10 to 22 August, dry conditions prevailed in major parts of the country causing water stress for the young millet crop, mostly in the central and northern parts. Rains resumed during the last week of August and remained regular and widespread in early September allowing crops to recover, notably in the centre and the south. Cumulative rainfall as of the end of August was generally below last year’s level and below normal. Satellite images for the first week of September indicate that rains improved, notably in the southeast. In the south and the east, millet and sorghum are heading while they are tillering/elongating in the north. Apart from Louga area, pastures are generally good. Infestations of insects have been reported in many zones in the southeast, the centre and the northwest.
SIERRA LEONE* (7 September)
After limited rains in March, precipitation progressed from the east and reached the west in mid-April. Rains increased during the last two dekads of May and the first dekad of June. The second and last dekads of June received below average rains. They improved in early July, decreased in midJuly and picked up in late July. They decreased significantly during the second dekad of August but became widespread and above normal in the centre and the north in late August. Rice production is expected to exceed last year’s level reflecting increased plantings by returning farmers and improved conditions for distribution of inputs.
The food supply situation remains tight. About 400 000 IDP's and returnees are present in various camps but mostly in the main towns and in Tonkili and Port Loko districts. The improvement of the security situation facilitated access to vulnerable populations. WFP plans to distribute more than 50 000 tonnes of food to an estimated 544 000 people during 2001. NGOs plan also to distribute around 37 000 tonnes in the same period. The Government has launched a resettlement programme in Freetown, Port Loko, Kenema, and Pejehun districts.
TOGO (7 September)
First rains were registered in the south in late February and progressed northwards in March and covered the entire country in April and May. The centre received abundant rains during the first and second dekads of April. Rainfall decreased notably in the north in mid-June but remained widespread in July. Limited rains were received in August and dry conditions prevailed in the south. In the centre and the north, maize, millet and sorghum crops benefited from adequate growing conditions and the output is expected to be satisfactory.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory.