BENIN (9 September)
Favourable conditions prevailed in the South while the North remained dry. Rains were widespread in June and became abundant in mid-July, particularly in Zou department, resulting in crop damage. Floods were reported in many villages and thousands of people were displaced. However, in the Northern part (Atakora and Borgou departments), rains were insufficient particularly in the Upper North. In July, infestations of black armyworm in Atakora and Borgou departments caused damage to emerging millet, sorghum and maize. Losses were heavy and farmers abandoned planting in these departments. So far, control measures have not been undertaken.
Food supply is satisfactory in the South, as the new crop comes into the markets. Prices remain lower than in 1998 mainly because Sahelian countries are importing less this year and farmers are selling more to compensate for low cotton incomes. The cereal import requirement for 1999 (January/December) is estimated at 200 000 tonnes (including re-exports) of wheat and rice.
BURKINA FASO (10 September)
Widespread and regular rains in August permitted satisfactory crop development. Following good growing conditions in July, rains were abundant and well distributed in August. Precipitation was particularly beneficial and above normal from the second dekad except in the north-east. Rainfall started to decrease in the third dekad but remained widespread. However, late-planted crops in the south-west will need more rain through September. In contrast, flooding delayed crop development in low-lying areas. Elsewhere, soil moisture reserves are generally adequate for crop development. Millet and sorghum are at heading and early maturation stages.
Pastures are abundant. The overall pest situation is calm. Substantial infestations of stemborers are reported in the North.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. With 2.65 million tonnes of cereals harvested in 1998, markets are well supplied and prices of local millet and sorghum are decreasing. In contrast, the price of white maize increased somewhat.
CAPE VERDE (10 September)
Continuous, regular rains in August favoured maize development. During the first dekad of August, regular rains were registered in Santiago and Fogo islands. From the second dekad, all agricultural islands received substantial rains (149 mm in São Nicolau and 145mm in Santo Antão). Rains remained abundant and well distributed over the whole country during the third dekad. Soil moisture reserves are adequate in most areas. Maize is elongating in humid zones of Santiago and Fogo islands while it is emerging in the arid zones.
Following increasing grasshopper and army worm infestation in Santiago (Tarrafal) and Fogo islands, preventive measures have been undertaken in several areas. Pastures have developed in highland zones but remain insufficient in coastal areas.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. Over 90 percent of annual food requirement is imported. Markets were regularly supplied in July/August and stocks or planned imports are adequate to cover needs in September and October. Food aid programs for year 2 000 have already been approved.
CHAD (10 September)
Growing conditions remained mostly favourable despite excessive rains in August in some areas. Rains in August were abundant and widespread. Unusually heavy rains in the first two dekads (146 mm in 8 hours on 5/8/99 and 400 mm for the month in 10 days in Ati, in Batha province) caused floods and crop damage. Soil moisture reserves are excessive in some areas, but so far overall crop development is satisfactory. Early crops are maturing while late plantings are at flowering stage. More rain is needed up to mid-September for late crops to mature in the Sudanian zone. Pastures are abundant countrywide. The overall pest situation is calm.
Following record cereal production in 1998 (estimated at 1.28 million tonnes), the overall food supply situation is satisfactory. However, impassable roads due to heavy rains in July/August have affected market supply. Prices of cereal are decreasing in rural areas as producers are selling stocks, anticipating a good harvest this season. WFP distributed 1 337 tonnes of food in deficit zones (Mayo-Kebbi, Tandjilé, Logone occidental and Logone oriental) and 640 tonnes as emergency relief operations to refugees of Adre in the east.
COTE D'IVOIRE (9 September)
Conditions have been favourable for crop development so far, with regular rains from the second dekad of May. Well distributed rains occurred in June and the first two dekads of July. After the short dry season in late July/early August, rains resumed in the following dekad. Crop prospects at the end of August were above normal.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. Cereal import requirement for 1999 (January/December), is estimated at 640 000 tonnes, mostly wheat and rice.
THE GAMBIA (9 September)
Rainstorms and flooding occurred in mid-August in the west. During the first dekad of August, rains increased steadily and were unusually heavy in Jambajali in the Western Division. From the second dekad, rainstorms and floods caused crop damage in N’Jau and Sare Sofi. In the other Divisions, well distributed and above normal rains benefited crop development. Weeding is the major farm activity in August. No significant pest infestation has been reported so far.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory following above-average cereal production in 1998. Markets are generally well supplied. However, some areas where millet production was poor remained vulnerable. WFP estimated the number of affected people at 110 000 and planned food aid distributions of 2 671 tonnes of cereals, 400 tonnes of pulses and 167 tonnes of oil.
GHANA (9 September)
Growing conditions are satisfactory so far. Rainfall was well distributed and above normal from the second dekad of June to mid-July, favouring crop development. Rains decreased notably thereafter during the short dry season. Army worm infestations were reported in the Upper East region, threatening millet and sorghum. Vegetation images in August showed above normal vegetation in the south and normal to above normal indices over the rest of the country.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. About 20 000 Liberian refugees remain in the country, receiving food assistance. The 1999 cereal import requirement is estimated at 475 000 tonnes, mostly wheat and rice.
GUINEA (9 September)
Heavy rains in July/August affected crop development. Rains started in the third dekad of July/beginning of August. Precipitation was particularly heavy and above normal. Cumulative rains in Conakry and Boffa exceeded 500 mm. In some areas, heavy rain caused heavy crop damage. Thousands of people were displaced in Conakry due to floods.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory except for displaced persons and refugees. According to UNHCR, some 366 000 refugees remain in the country. Over 14 000 have recently been moved away from the Liberian border following fighting in mid-August. The 1999 cereal import requirement is estimated at 385 000 tonnes, mostly wheat and rice.
GUINEA-BISSAU* (10 September)
Widespread and above-normal rains favoured crop development. Rains remained heavy and well distributed in August, particularly during the second and the third dekads. Conditions are satisfactory and rice transplanting in swamp fields has progressed notably.
In the post-conflict period, large number of people face food supply difficulties, whilst repatriation of refugees is underway. 629 Guinean refugees returned from Senegal in July. In addition, some returned from the Gambia and Cape Verde. Displaced persons and returnees are receiving food assistance.
LIBERIA* (9 September)
Growing conditions are favourable so far but crop prospects remain constrained by continuing civil disturbances. The 1999 rainy season has progressed satisfactorily. Rains have been generally well distributed and above normal. Crops are growing satisfactorily and output is expected to be similar to or above last year, except in the North where fighting broke out in Lofa in early August. Over 50 000 people have been displaced in Voinjama and Kolahum in upper Lofa County. Humanitarian programmes for Liberian returnees and Sierra Leonean refugees were disrupted by insecurity and stock looting.
The overall food situation has improved significantly. However, in the northern region the nutritional and health condition of displaced people has deteriorated, particularly among women and the elderly. Lack of food and drugs is reported. Resettlement and rehabilitation activities have allowed refugees and Internally Displaced persons to return to their homes. About 90 000 refugees from Sierra Leone remain in Liberia. On the basis of an estimated population of about 2.8 million in 1999, FAO estimates that Liberia needs to import 155 000 tonnes of cereals to meet consumption requirements. Commercial imports are anticipated at 100 000 tonnes of rice and 5 000 tonnes of wheat. The remaining 50 000 tonnes will need to be covered by food aid, estimated at 30 000 tonnes of wheat and 20 000 tonnes of maize products such as maize meal and CSB for distribution to vulnerable displaced people. At the end of August, 57 700 tonnes of food aid had been pledged and delivered.
MALI (9 September)
Harvest prospects are generally favourable reflecting abundant and widespread rains in August. Rains were unusually heavy in the first dekad of August, resulting in floods and crop damage in Bamako region. During the second dekad, precipitation was well above average in the west and the centre. During the third dekad, rains decreased in the west but remained heavy in the south and above normal in the north and centre. Millet and sorghum are developing satisfactorily, benefiting from adequate soil moisture reserves. Excess water however may reduce potential yields in some areas. Due to late planting, more rains are needed up to the end of September to improve crop prospects in Sudanian zones. Pastures are abundant countrywide and the pest situation is calm.
Cereal production in 1998 is estimated at a record 2.5 million tonnes (paddy equivalent), allowing farmers to replenish stocks. The overall food situation is satisfactory, with well supplied markets and lower prices than 1998. Although some areas in Goudan and Bourem regions, and in Central Gao are at risk of economic difficulties, no food aid is required.
MAURITANIA (9 September)
Growing conditions are favourable so far and harvest prospects for rainfed crops are good. Rains resumed in the south in the second dekad of August and were above normal and widespread in the third dekad. Unusually heavy rains were recorded at Aïoun El Atrouss, resulting in significant crop losses in Tchitt. Early millet and sorghum are developing satisfactorily.
Pastures are in good condition. Low numbers of Desert Locust adults are likely to be present in central and southern areas where numbers may increase due to an improvement in breeding conditions. No significant developments are likely.
Compared to 1997, cereal production in 1998 increased by 34 percent, resulting in stable cereal prices during the lean season. The food situation is not critical, but 161 692 persons in Aftout and Affolé require 6 897 tonnes of cereals to meet food needs. The cereal import requirement (including re-exports) for 1998/99 (November/October) is estimated at 310 000 tonnes and food aid at 35 000 tonnes
NIGER (10 September)
Harvest prospects are generally favourable. During the first dekad of August, rainstorms covered the south of Tahoua, Maradi and Diffa. However, no damage has been reported in these areas. Rainfall remained heavy during the second dekad in the south of Dosso, south-west of Tillabery, Tahoua, Maradi and Zinder. Soil moisture is adequate so far, benefiting crop and pasture development.
Pest infestations may result in crop damage. Grasshopper and army worm infestations were reported in Zinder department. Isolated Desert Locusts are likely to be present in Aïr and increase slightly in Tamesna as a result of breeding.
Aggregate 1998 cereal production is estimated at a record 2.96 million tonnes (paddy equivalent), about 74 percent above 1997 and about 44 percent above the five-year average. As a result, the overall 1999 food supply situation remains satisfactory. Markets are well supplied and prices of cereals are affordable. Cereal traders, unlike producers, are selling stocks in anticipation of a good harvest this season.
NIGERIA (9 September)
Crops are developing satisfactorily but a late start to the rainy season might constrain production. Rains started about one month later than usual in the northern areas hampering development of millet and sorghum. From May to June, cumulative rainfall was below normal. Rains resumed gradually in late June and remained satisfactory and above normal up to the end of August, allowing partial recovery in crop condition. Heavy rains caused the Zobe Dam in the northern state of Katsina to overflow, resulting in heavy crop losses.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. The cereal import requirement for 1999 is estimated at 1.25 million tonnes, including 1.05 million tonnes of wheat and 150 000 tonnes of rice.
SENEGAL (10 September)
Widespread above-normal rainfall in August improved crop prospects. During the first dekad, the south-west received substantial rainfall which progressed to the centre and the west during the second dekad. In mid-August, rainstorms covered southern and western regions, flooding many areas (Joal and Kaolack in particular). Rains increased notably in the eastern regions during the third dekad. So far, overall crop development is satisfactory and soil moisture reserves are sufficient. Millet and sorghum are generally heading in the south and the centre.
Pastures are abundant countrywide. Grasshopper and army worm infestations are reported in several areas. No significant developments of Desert Locusts are likely.
The overall food situation is satisfactory. Markets are well supplied and the price of rice is stable. Price of local cereals decreased significantly compared to last year. In addition, farmers and traders are selling stocks in anticipation of a good harvest. In the southern regions, the price of millet ranged from 75 to 145 F.CFA/Kg in August 1999 compared to 175 to 240 F.CFA/Kg last year. In Diourbel and Thiès region in the centre-north, prices were between 100 to 150 F.CFA in 1999 compared to 125 to 210 F.CFA last year. However, food supply difficulties are reported in some areas (Saint-Louis region (Matam, Podor and Dagana) or Louga and Diourbel regions) where rainfed production was poor.
SIERRA LEONE* (9 September)
The security condition has improved in many rural areas but might not affect 1999 production substantially. Output is expected to remain close to last year’s level despite favourable climatic conditions so far. Insecurity in major parts of the country at the beginning of the season prevented the delivery of agricultural inputs and disrupted agricultural activities. Weather was generally favourable since the beginning of the season despite reduced rains in late July and in August. Satellite imagery shows below-normal vegetation over the country.
Following the peace agreement in early July between the government and rebels, the number of ECOWAS peace keeping forces have been reduced and will gradually be replaced by UN military observers who will monitor the disarmament and reintegration process. Improvement in the security situation also allows implementation of emergency and rehabilitation activities in the country. Food distribution is underway following the reopening of main roads from Freetown to Bo and Kenema, and from neighbouring Guinea to Kambia. However, the volume of food is insufficient to meet the needs of the large number of refugees and displaced persons, particularly in the north and the east. Current estimates put the number of displaced people at 700 000, whose nutritional status is reported to be precarious. Even in the case of a successful and fast implementation of the peace agreement, the country will continue to rely heavily on food assistance for several years. FAO estimates the cereal import requirement for 1999 at about 290 000 tonnes, including 140 000 tonnes of food aid. At the end of August, only 25 100 tonnes of food aid, mainly in the form of bulgur wheat, had been pledged and delivered.
TOGO (9 September)
Widespread and above-normal rains benefited crop development. Rains were regular during the entire rainy season. Soil moisture reserves are adequate and so far pest situation is calm. Crop prospects are normal in the north and above normal in the south.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. The cereal import requirement for 1999 (January/December), is estimated at 125 000 tonnes (including re-exports).