FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 06/01 - NIGER (18 June)

NIGER (18 June)

Generally, seasonably dry conditions prevail. Scattered showers may have been received in the extreme south but plantings will start in the weeks ahead following the onset of the rains. Seeds availability is generally adequate as 2 000 tonnes of seeds have been distributed in the areas affected by poor crops in 2000.

Following a below-average crop in 2000, estimated at 2 143 000 tonnes, which was 25 percent below the 1999 level and about 10 percent below the average of the previous five years, the food supply situation is tight in the traditionally food deficit areas. Prices of cereals increased significantly in March and April, and have remained higher than average. The most at-risk zones are in Tchirozérine, Mainé-Sorea, N’Guigmi, Filingué and Ouallam arrondissements. The Government launched an appeal for international food assistance and seeds for the next growing season. The government and donors have bought cereals for sale at subsidized prices in the areas that experienced production shortfalls. The cereals, mainly millet and sorghum, are being sold at 10 000 F.CFA (about US $14) per 100-kg bag instead of the market price of 18 000 to 20 000 F.CFA. 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.