PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF 2001 CEREAL PRODUCTION IN WESTERN AFRICA
Global Information and Early Warning System on food and agriculture
FAO Rome, December 2001

 


 

NB: This document is also available in French.

For further information, please contact Abdur Rashid, Chief, Global Information and Early Warning Service (ESCG), FAO, Rome: Telephone: (39-06) 5705-3099, Facsimile: (39-06) 5705-4495, E-mail INTERNET: GIEWS1@FAO.ORG

 

 

I. INTRODUCTION

This report presents a preliminary assessment of the 2001 cereal harvests in the nine west African countries which are members of CILSS /. It is based on information available to FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) as of early November 2001 and on production estimates provided by the national services and reviewed by Crop Assessment Missions to all nine CILSS countries in October. These Missions comprised experts from GIEWS, the CILSS/Agrhymet Centre in Niamey and, as last year, Sahelian experts recruited under FAO's Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) Programme. FEWS (Famine Early Warning System) Programme of USAID and World Food Programme (WFP) were also associated with some of these Missions. The Missions worked closely with the national agricultural statistics services responsible for collecting and processing cereal production data, meteorological information, crop protection, hydrology and, where they exist, national early warning systems (SAP), market information systems (SIM) and food security monitoring systems (CT-CCI in Burkina Faso, CASAGC in Chad, SAP-GC in Niger, etc.). The Missions also met representatives of the main donors. FAO and CILSS worked closely together, at both field and headquarters level, and the figures in the report are those generally agreed by both secretariats.

These figures were discussed from 5 to 9 October 2001 in Niamey at a meeting organised by CILSS with representatives of the CILSS countries. They were also presented and discussed during the annual meeting of the "Network for Prevention of Food Crises in the Sahel" organised by the Club du Sahel and CILSS from 28 to 30 November at Florence, Italy. A presentation of these figures will be made at the CILSS Council of Ministers scheduled in December 2001.

At the time of the assessment missions, harvesting of rainfed crops was underway or nearing completion in most of the countries. Early millet and maize had generally been harvested, but long-cycle varieties and late-planted crops were not yet harvested everywhere, while irrigated crops were at a less advanced stage. Rice was still being transplanted in swamp and low-lying areas of southern Senegal and in Guinea-Bissau. Planting of flood recession crops was underway in the Senegal River valley and in Chad. The forecasts made in this report are therefore preliminary and subject to revision.

II. SUMMARY

Apart from the east of The Gambia and Mauritania, the rainy season started generally on time in the centre and the west of the Sahel and early in the east. Rains were regular and widespread from late June to early August. They decreased significantly during the last two dekads in the west, notably in Cape Verde and Mauritania. Only limited replantings were necessary in localized areas in Mauritania and Chad due to a poor rainfall distribution and pest attacks. In September, rains remained significant and widespread in most parts of the Sahel except in Cape Verde where dry conditions prevailed for 20 days. Above normal rains were registered in early October in major agricultural zones of the sahelian countries. Precipitation resumed in Cape Verde and became abundant and widespread from the second dekad of October.

Generally regular and well-distributed rainfall throughout the rainy season permitted satisfactory crop development and favourable growing conditions for recession crops. The pest situation was mostly calm. The rains permitted satisfactory regeneration of pastures and replenishment of water reserves in the pastoral zones. Therefore, prospects for the 2001 cereal supply are generally good.

The 2001 aggregate cereal production of the nine CILSS member countries has been estimated by the FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Missions at around 11.7 million tonnes, which is well above the 2000 level and well above average. Production is anticipated to be significantly above average in all countries, except in Mauritania. A record level has been reached in Burkina Faso, The Gambia and Niger. Near record is expected in Chad, Mali and Senegal. Below 2000 production is anticipated in Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania.

III. 2001 CEREAL HARVESTS IN CILSS MEMBER COUNTRIES

(i) Factors Affecting 2001 Production

(a) Rainfall

The 2001 rainy season started in early April in the extreme south of Chad, in mid-April in southern Burkina Faso and Mali, in May in Niger and in early June in Guinea Bissau, the south-east of Senegal and the east of The Gambia. In Chad, precipitation decreased significantly in late May in the south. The rainy season started in late June in southern Mauritania while widespread precipitation was recorded in Senegal and The Gambia. Rains were generally regular and widespread over the main producing zones of the Sahel in July. Rainfall improved notably in Chad, Mali and Niger during the last two dekads of July and was particularly abundant in the sudanian zone of Chad during the third dekad, compensating for insufficient rains earlier in June. By contrast, the north of Burkina Faso received reduced rains. In the western countries (Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal), rains were regular and above normal during the first dekad of July. They decreased somewhat in mid and late July but remained widespread, notably in Guinea-Bissau. Cape Verde registered its first significant rains in mid-July in Santiago and Fogo islands.

Precipitation was generally well distributed and above normal in August in the east and the centre of the Sahel. Rains became abundant in late August in the centre and south of Burkina Faso, the south and the centre of Chad, the southwest and centre of Mali and the centre of Niger. By contrast, in the western countries, (The Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal) rainfall was irregular and below normal up to mid-August. The second dekad of August was particularly dry and cumulative rainfall was below last year's level and below normal in these countries. However, rains improved significantly in late August and early September, notably in Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, the south and west of Senegal and Mauritania. After significant and widespread rains in early August in all agricultural areas of Cape Verde Islands, precipitation decreased from the second dekad of August but remained widespread.

Rainfall was adequate over the main producing areas in late August and early September, notably in the west of Mali and the south of Chad, Mauritania, Senegal and The Gambia. By contrast, rains decreased significantly in Burkina Faso and Niger. From mid-September, precipitation decreased in most producing zones but remained widespread and above normal in Chad, the south of Mauritania and the north of Senegal. During the last dekad of September, Guinea Bissau, the western part of Mauritania and the extreme north of Senegal received above normal rains. Some rains were still registered during the first dekad of October in Senegal, western and southern Mali, several areas of Burkina Faso and southern Chad while they ceased in Niger and most parts of Mauritania. They remained abundant in Guinea-Bissau.

The maps on page 3 show the total rainfall amount from May through October as well as its percentage as compared to the long-term normals (1961-90). The cumulative rainfall for the 2001 rainy season indicates the 300-600 mm band coinciding with the normal one, with the exception of northern Senegal and south-western Mauritania. Above average rainfall was recorded in central-western Senegal, central and south-eastern Mauritania, central/northern Mali, north-western and northern Burkina Faso, central and eastern Niger, and central and northern Chad. Below normal rainfall was received in Guinea Bissau, The Gambia and southern Senegal, south-western Mali, southern Burkina Faso, south-west of Niger and the southern part of Chad.


Map 1



Map 2



Source: NOAA/FAO - Prepared by: FAO/SDRN, Agrometeorology Group

 

(b) Area Planted and Seed Availability

Preliminary indications are that the area planted to cereals increased from the 2000 level in most countries except in Mauritania. The timely start of the season and the overall availability of seeds resulted in an extension of the area planted to cereals. Significant increases of the area planted to cereals were observed in Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Mali. In addition, the area under recessional crops will increase in most countries in the east and the centre, following the good rains registered in August and September in the main agricultural zones. In Mauritania, however, the area planted to cereals has been decreasing over the last three years.

Overall, seed availability was adequate in most countries. However, free distributions of seeds were carried out in vulnerable zones of Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger. These three countries experienced cereal deficits in 2000. Only limited replantings were necessary in localized areas due to irregular rainfall in Mauritania and pest attacks in Chad. In Mauritania, heavy rains in late July/early August damaged the young crops while in Chad, sowings benefited from regular and widespread rainfall in August and September.

(c) Pest Situation

The pest situation remained mostly calm during the growing season. Grasshopper attacks were reported in Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Mauritania and Niger. Armyworm infestations were reported in Chad, Guinea Bissau, Mali and Senegal. Cantharids have been reported in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. An outbreak of sesamia pest in Mauritania is threatening recession crops. Grain eating birds persist in several countries notably in Chad, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Senegal. The Desert Locust situation also remained calm during the season.

 

(ii) Weather Performance and Monitoring of Crop Development in 2001

In addition to its conventional information sources, GIEWS uses rainfall data received from meteorological stations as well as information derived from two types of satellites for its crop monitoring and agricultural production forecasting activities in the region.

Through the ARTEMIS System at its Environment and Natural Resources Service, FAO produces satellite imagery for the whole of Africa indicating 10-day and monthly Cold Cloud Duration (CCD), Estimated Rainfall and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The CCD information, which indicates hours of coverage of rain-bearing clouds, is produced from data received in real-time from the European METEOSAT satellite. On the basis of this information, 10-day and monthly charts are prepared on Estimated Rainfall. The NDVI imagery, which gives an indication of the photosynthetically active biomass, is produced from information received from the American NOAA satellites.

GIEWS has access to the ARTEMIS system's archive that includes the NDVIs dating back to 1981. Those indices based on METEOSAT information date from August 1988. With the archive, the present situation can be compared with previous years, and a spatially more complete and quicker analysis can be made than from information derived only from ground-based observations.

Satellite images (click here) give the occurrence of rain-bearing clouds (CCD) for the months of April to October 2001. It shows that CCD - and thus the implied rainfall - was highest during July and August. There was a clear reduction in rainfall in August in the east of Burkina Faso and west of Niger and heavy rains in western Mali, central Niger and all producing zones of Chad. Rains remained abundant in September in Senegal and in October in southern Senegal and Guinea Bissau. Both the August and September images illustrate the farthest extent of the rainfall during the 2001 season, resulting, in general, in above normal conditions, particularly in the pastoral zones of the Sahel.

You can also watch the film of Cold Cloud Duration over Western Africa in 2001

The map and graph (click here) give an assessment of the 2001 cropping season, based on a classification of the evolution of the NDVI during the season compared to the 1982-2000 average. The CILSS area has been divided into five classes. Each class, identified by a colour, indicates one type of behaviour during the 2001 season as compared to the average.

- Class 1, in blue, represent those areas where the season started as "normal", but ended later, so that the total growing season has been longer compared to the 1982-2000 average. This is shown by the highly positive values on the graph for the second half of the growing season. When looking at the map one sees that these areas correspond to the northern fringe of the agricultural areas and the longer growing period seems to be attributed to a well northern positioned ITCZ.
- Class 2, green, can be interpreted as having an early start of the season and a slightly later ending, although less pronounced compared to class 1. Overall, a slightly longer and good quality growing season than normal.
- Class 3, in yellow, represents areas that experienced basically a normal growing season, but one that started earlier and also ended earlier, so the season was only shifted in time, not in quality.
- Class 4, in gray, indicates areas with no change compared to normal, and mainly covers the desert.
- Class 5, in red, covers areas that, according to their NDVI behavior, had a normal starting time and ending time of the season, but where the vegetation did not develop as good as normal, most likely due to reduced water supply. Compared to normal, the NDVI is consistently lower. However, as many of these areas are in the more humid southern parts, the influence on crops was not necessarily too negative.

The graphics (click here) show the rainfall pattern of different zones of the Sahel for the 2000 season as compared to the average calculated over the period 1989-95. The values for the 2000 season have been extracted from dekadal images of cold cloud duration images produced by the Agrometeorology Group of Environment and Natural Resources Service of FAO. The graphics depict the dekadal pattern and the cumulative one from 1 March to 31 October, respectively at left and right of each page.

 

(iii) Preliminary Cereal Production Forecast for CILSS Countries for 2001

As indicated in the introduction, this report presents a preliminary FAO/CILSS assessment of the 2001 cereal harvests in the nine CILSS member countries. It is based on information available to the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) as of early November 2001 and on production estimates provided by the national services and reviewed by Crop Assessment Missions between 8 and 26 October in the nine countries.

The 2001 aggregate cereal production of the nine CILSS member countries has been estimated at around 11 million tonnes, which is well above the 2000 level and above average. Production is anticipated to be below last year's in Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania. Significantly above-average production is anticipated in all countries, except in Mauritania. A record level is forecast in Burkina Faso and The Gambia, while a near record is expected in Chad and Senegal. Output is half of the 1999 record level in Cape Verde but still above average.

The production trend for each country since 1990 is given in the following table and the graphs (click here).

Table 1. Sahelian Countries - Cereal Production 1991 to 2001 and Preliminary Forecasts for 2001
(in thousand tonnes gross basis, with rice in paddy)

 

Country Cereal Production Preliminary Forecast for 2001 2001/
1996-2000
(%)
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Burkina Faso
2 455
2 478
2 496
2 492
2 308
2 482
2 014
2 657
2 700
2 286
2 796 115.2
Cape Verde
8
10
12
3
8
1
5
5
36
24
19 130.2
Chad 1/
812
977
629
1 175
908
878
986
1 353
151
929
1 237 115.2
Gambia
112
96
102
91
106
111
112
114
139
176
198 149.5
Guinea-Bissau 2/
180
171
180
190
201
147
173
131
2 894
168
164 108.4
Mali
2 414
1 809
2 228
2 457
2 189
2 219
2 138
2 548
193
2 380
2 866 117.7
Mauritania
104
106
188
200
220
121
152
195
2 861
179
162 95.4
Niger
2 474
2 548
1 787
2 440
2 093
2 261
1 721
2 979
1 009
2 122
3 159 132.3
Senegal 3/
970
856
1 134
964
1 093
1 023
818
771
1 230
1 061
1 106 118.2
TOTAL 4/
9 500
8 800
8 700
10 000
9 100
9 200
8 100
10 800
11 200
9 300
11 700 120.3

Source: FAO/CILSS
Note: Record harvests are underlined.
1/ A change in the methodology was introduced in 1997 and no survey was possible in 1998 and 1999.
2/ For 1993 and 1999, the figure is based on estimates prepared by statistical services but not based on a survey.
3/For 2001, the figure is based on estimates prepared by statistical services but not based on a survey
4/ Totals have been rounded.

These figures should be viewed as provisional as the surveys were generally carried out before the end of the harvest and include forecasts for recession and off-season crops, especially in Mauritania, where rainfed crops only represent about one-third of total production. These estimates may need, therefore, to be revised in the coming months, but there is unlikely to be a significant change in the overall trend of a well above average production in the Sahelian sub-region.

Cereal Production by country

The breakdown of 2001 cereal production by crop for each country is given in Table 2.

Table 2: CILSS Countries - Preliminary Forecast of 2001 Production by Cereal
(in thousand tonnes gross basis)

Country Millet Sorghum Maize Rice(paddy) Wheat Others1/ Total2/
Burkina Faso 957.5 1197.0 517.8 99.6 - 23.9 2 795.8
Cape Verde - - 18.7 - - - 18.7
Chad1/ 384.3 485.4 109.8 112.2 3.6 141.9 1 237.2
Gambia 106.0 29.7 27.1 35.3 - - 198.5
Guinea-Bissau 29.6 15.8 28.4 87.6 - 2.8 164.2
Mali 3/ 862.7 694.9 437.3 840.0 9.3 21.4 2 865.6
Mauritania 3/ 4.1 90.0 8.2 58.1 - - 160.4
Niger 2414.4 655.7 6.4 76.4 6.3 - 3 159.2
Senegal 3/ 559.6 163.4 115.8 266.9 - 0.7 1 106.5
TOTAL 2/ 5 318.2 3 229.1 1 272.7 1 576.4 19.1 190.7 11 707.2

 

Source: FAO/CILSS
1/ Including fonio, berbéré and recession crops in Chad.
2/ Totals have been rounded.
3/ Including recession and off-season crop estimates

Cereal Production by commodity

(iv) Country-by-Country Summaries

Burkina Faso:

The first significant rains arrived during the second dekad of April in the southwest and the centre-south but remained limited and poorly distributed in mid-June. Precipitation improved in late June and remained regular and widespread in July and early August, except in the northern part. Rains became abundant in late August in the centre and south. They decreased significantly during the second dekad of September resulting in some pockets of drought in the centre-north (Namentenga, Sanmatenga, Bam) and southwest. Total rainfall as of late September was generally higher than last year and above average. The dams and water points have been filled at a higher level than last year.

Cereal sowing was generally completed in July. Overall crop development was satisfactory although water stress occurred locally in the centre and the northern part during the first two dekads of September.

Armyworm infestations were reported in several zones in July. Grain eating birds attacks in Sourou valley caused significant damage to millet and sorghum in mid-October. Pastures were abundant countrywide and watering points were well replenished.

Crop prospects are satisfactory notably in the southwest and centre-south. The Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission which visited Burkina Faso from 22 to 26 October, estimated the 2001 cereal production at 2 795 800 tonnes, which is 22 percent above 2000 and 15 percent higher than average. This production exceeded the previous (1999) record level. The overall food situation will improve significantly as compared to last year.

Some base data on this country (in french)


 

Cape Verde:

First rains were registered during the first dekad of July in Santiago and Fogo islands. Rains progressed northwards and reached Brava and Santo Antão islands in late July. They were abundant in all agricultural islands in early August, decreased somewhat in mid-August in Santiago, Fogo, Brava, San Antão and Sào Nicolau islands but picked up in late August. Rainfall was irregular in September. Santiago and Fogo islands in the south received below normal rains while more than twenty days of dry conditions prevailed in San Antão and Sào Nicolau islands in the north. Rains resumed in mid-October and became significant and widespread in Santiago, Fogo and San Antão islands.

Dry plantings started in early July in Santiago island and spread out in mid-July in Fogo and Sào Nicolau islands. Following first rains, wet plantings became widespread in late July/early August. Crop development was satisfactory in humid and sub-humid zones of Santiago and Fogo islands. In semi-arid zones, maize suffered prolonged water stress causing crop damages in San Antão and Saõ Nicolau islands while in Santiago and Fogo islands, maize crops recovered satisfactorily following significant rains in mid-October.

The pest situation was mostly calm in the archipelago. Infestations of grasshoppers were reported in the pastoral zones of the islands of Santiago, Boavista, Maio and S. Vicente. The availability of folder was adequate, except in the littoral zones and islands where dry conditions prevailed.

Harvests of 2001 maize will be reduced, notably in the semi-arid zones of San Antão and S. Nicolau islands with high yield reductions. The Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission which visited Cape Verde from 15 to 19 October estimated 2001 maize production at 18 681 tonnes, which is 23 percent below 2000 and 30 percent above average. It represents about half of the 1999 record level.

  Some base data on this country (in french)


Chad:

The first significant rains arrived in early April in the extreme south. They spread over the south-west in late April/early May but remained regular and above normal in June and July. Rainfall was particularly abundant in August over the agricultural zones causing the burst of the Chari and Logone rivers. Consequently, flooding was reported in several areas mostly in the Sudanian zone (Mandoul, the two Logones, Salamat, Ouaddaï, Dar Silla, Guéra). Precipitation continued during the first dekad of October in the Sudanian zone.The cumulative rainfall was above last year's level and above normal.

Cereal plantings were delayed in the south-east due to an irregular start of the rainy season. Some replanting was necessary in localized areas due to grasshopper attacks. Planted area increased significantly as compared to last year. Nearly 120 000 hectares were flooded, out to which 75 percent were under cereals. Crops developed satisfactorily during the growing season. Harvests of millet and sorghum were underway in October in most agricultural zones while the recessional sorghum (berbéré) was in the stages of transplanting/ tillering.

The pest situation was dominated by an outbreak of army worms in Tandjilé department and the south of Mayo Dala, grasshopper infestations in the sous-prefectures of Massakory and Mandiela and grain eating birds attacks on maize in the Lac and on maturing crops in Salamat and Batha Ouest. Pastures were abundant and watering points were well replenished. The total losses of cereal production caused by the flooding were estimated at 18 000 tonnes including 50 percent of rice.

The Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission which visited Chad from 8 to 12 October estimated with the national statistical service, the aggregate 2001 cereal production at 1 237 200 tonnes, which is 33 percent above the 2000 level and 15 percent higher than the average of the last five years. This cereal production is close to the 1998 record of 1 353 000 tonnes. As a result, overall food situation will improve significantly in the coming year. Meanwhile, people affected by the flooding may not be able to recover quickly will require assistance.

Some base data on this country (in french)


The Gambia:

The first rains came early in June in the west and the centre while in the eastern part they were delayed by three weeks. From mid-June, ten rainless days were observed in the entire country. In July, rains became abundant and widespread, particularly in the west. In late July, the eastern part received below normal rains. Precipitation picked up in early August but decreased in mid-August notably in the west. Rains became widespread and above normal during September. Significant rains were registered in early October in the western part.

The early plantings started in June in the west and the centre and continued in July in the east. However, the limited rains in late July resulted in a delay for of rice transplantation in the west and the centre. Crop development was satisfactory, except in Kantora district where maize and millet suffered prolonged water stress in July. Replanting of cereal crops was mostly observed in Kantora district. Harvesting of early varieties of maize and millet started in October in the west and the centre

Pest situation was generally calm and pest incidence has not been severe compared to last year. Pastures are well developed and watering points are well replenished.

In early October, the 2001 cereal production was estimated by the Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission at 198 197 tonnes, 13 percent above the 2000 record of 175 800 tonnes. It exceeds the average production of the last five years by 49 percent. An increase in cultivated area was observed for all cereals following the "back to land" national programme.

Some base data on this country (in french)


Guinea-Bissau:

Following first rains in the east in early May, precipitation became abundant and widespread during the first dekad of June. Rains decreased in mid-June and picked up and remained widespread and above normal in late June and early July. Precipitation decreased significantly during the second dekad of July and became abundant and widespread in late July over the major agricultural zones. Rainfall remained generally regular and well distributed in August and September. Meanwhile, cumulative rainfall was below last year's level in most of the rainfall stations except in Tite, Quebo, Bissau and Bolama. The flow of the main rivers was generally lower than in 2000.

Plantings started in the east in June and spread out in mid-July. The lack of rice seeds at the onset of the cropping season has resulted in a delay of the swamp rice transplantation. Crop development was generally satisfactory. Millet and sorghum were heading/flowering in October while lowlands and swamp rice was in the transplanting/earring stages.

Significant infestations of army worms were reported on lowland and swamp rice fields, notably in Tombali and Bafata regions. Pastures are abundant and watering points well replenished.

The Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission estimated 2001 cereal production at 164 263 tonnes, which is 2 percent below the 2000 production and 8 percent above the last five years average. Lowland and swamp rice production decreased by 4 and 10 percent respectively due to pest infestations and limited seed availability in the main producing zones. By contrast, coarse grain production increased by 19 percent over 2000.


Some base data on this country (in french)


 

Mali:

The rainy season started in early May in the south-east in Sikasso region, and spread over the other regions except in Tessalit, Gao and Ménaka. Following regular and widespread rains in June, precipitation decreased significantly in early July and improved in late July notably in the south and the centre. Rains became regular and abundant during the first dekad of August. The major part of Ségou region received below normal rains during the last two dekads. Rains remained regular and above normal in September. They continued in early October in the south and west. The cumulative rainfall was normal to above normal in most agricultural zones. The levels of the watercourses were generally above last year and above the seasonal average except in the Bani basin.

First planting occurred in early May in Sikasso region and continued until July in the other regions. In general, soil moisture reserves remained adequate during the growing season allowing crops to develop satisfactorily. Early maturing varieties are being harvested while late varieties are in the grain filling/maturing stages.

The pest situation was generally calm. Grain eating bird attacks were reported on millet. Over 500 hectares of nesting zones were treated. Pasture regeneration was satisfactorily and watering points were widespread.

On the basis of the national production survey, the 2001 cereal production was provisionally estimated by the Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission at 2 865 600 tonnes, which is 20 percent above the 2000 level and 18 percent above the last five years average.

Some base data on this country (in french)


 

Mauritania:

Limited rains were registered locally in the south regions in June but they were not sufficient to start agricultural activities. The useful rains arrived late during the first two dekads of July in the wilayas of Gorgol, Trarza, Guidimakha and the two Hodhs. Precipitation decreased significantly in late July in the two Hodhs and Guidimakha. By contrast, The wilayas of Assaba, Gorgol and Trarza received above normal rains. In August, rains remained below normal during the first and second dekads and became abundant in late August notably in the wilayas of Trarza, Inchiri, Hodh El Gharbi and Assaba. They remained significant in early September resulting in crop damages in the wilaya of Gorgol and Brakna. From mid-September, below normal rains were registered in most agricultural zones. Limited rains occurred in the south in early October.

The sowing of rainfed crops staggered from July to August due to untimely late rainfall. The poor distribution of rainfall in August resulted in some replanting, particularly in the river valley areas. Sorghum crops suffered water stress in the eastern part. Area under irrigation and recession is likely to decrease due to the low flow of the Senegal River and difficulties encountered by farmers to obtain the agricultural inputs and loans.

Grasshopper infestations were reported in Hodh El Garbi and Guidimakha. Grain eating bird attacks which were observed in the wilayas of Brakna, Trarza and Gorgol necessitated control measures. Sesamia infestation is still to be feared on recession crops. Pastures were generally abundant. Some outbreaks of infectious diseases (foot and mouth and skin diseases) were reported in the two Hodhs, Assaba and Guidimakha.

On the basis of estimates supplied by the Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation Department of the Ministry for Rural Development and Environment, the Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission made a provisional estimate of 2001/02 cereal production of 161 800 tonnes. This total production is 9 percent lower than the 2000/2001 production and 4 percent below the five-year average. The irrigated crops and the Walo registered significant falls in production. In some deficit zones, food supply will be critical during the lean season.

Some base data on this country (in french)


Niger:

Rains arrived early in April but were limited and localized in the centre-south. They became significant as of mid-May and decreased in late May/early June. Precipitation picked up during the second dekad of June and progressed towards the agricultural zones. Rainfall remained regular and widespread during the first and second dekads of July. Flooding was reported in Dosso, Maradi et Tahoua regions during this period. Rains decreased somewhat in early August but improved significantly during the second dekad, notably in the centre where they became abundant. Regular and widespread rains were registered in September and early October in most areas in the south and the centre. In September, cumulative rainfall was above last year's level in most parts of the agricultural zones. At this time, the flow of the temporary water courses and the Niger River were higher than average.

Planting started during the second dekad of April and spread out in May and June. Late sowings were completed in the third dekad of July. Free distributions of 1 880 tonnes of seeds were carried out in the vulnerable zones. Crop developpement were generally satisfactory. However, late sowings suffered excess of water in August.

Grasshopper infestations were reported in Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua, Zinder and Tillabéry departements. Attacks of floral insects and grain eating birds caused significants damages on millet and sorghum in Tillabéry department. Half of the infested area was treated. Pastures were abundant countrywide and watering points are resplenished.

A bumper crop is anticipated this year. The 2001 cereal production was estimated by the Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission at 3 159 200 tonnes, which is about half more than 2000 reduced level and 32 percent above the average of the last five years.

Some base data on this country (in french)


Senegal:

The first useful rains were registered in late May in the extreme southeast. Rains were regular and widespread in June and July. Useful rains arrived in the north and the centre during the last two dekads of July. The south received regular and abundant rains in August while in the northern part, rains decreased significantly in mid-August. Precipitation remained regular and above normal during the first two dekads of September and decreased during the last dekad. They continued in the south and the west in early October. The cumulative rainfall was normal to above normal in most parts of the country.

The sowing period staggered from late May to July. In general, crops developed satisfactorily. However, growing conditions were less favorable in Louga and Saint-Louis regions due to poor soil fertility, excessive weeding and early stop of rainfall. As of mid-October, early maturing varieties were harvested while late varieties were at the grain filling/maturation stages in most departments.

Infestations of grasshoppers and other insects (larva, floral insects, grain eating birds and rodents) were observed in many parts but the incidence on the crops was limited. Pastures were well developed and the watering points well replenished.

The Joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission estimated the aggregate output of cereals for 2001/2002 at 1 106 500 tonnes (including recession and off-season crop estimates), which is 4 percent above 2000/2001 and 18 percent higher than the previous five years average.

Some base data on this country (in french)


IV SUMMARY FOR WESTERN AFRICAN COASTAL COUNTRIES

Following generally favourable growing conditions during the 2001 crop season in most coastal countries, the prospects for the 2001 cereal output are good. Cereal production is likely to be above normal, except in Liberia and Sierra Leone where past or present civil strife hampered agricultural activities.

The rainy season started somewhat later than normal in mid-March in the south of the countries along the Gulf of Guinea, allowing the planting of the main maize crop. Rains generally reached the northern part of these countries in April, allowing land preparation for the sowing of millet and sorghum. Rains generally remained widespread and abundant until the end of October.

Production estimates are not yet available for most countries. Only Benin, Guinea and Togo provided figures for 2001 cereal production. A record crop is anticipated in Benin and Guinea while it is well above average in Togo. In Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon, reflecting generally adequate agro-climatic conditions, crop production should be close to or above normal.

In Sierra Leone, a reduced harvest is anticipated as planted areas are likely to be significantly below last year’s level due to a resurgence of civil strife in early May, during the critical planting period. Due to insecurity, input distribution and relief operations were suspended or seriously disrupted, notably in the north. The security situation improved from June/July but remained tense and fighting along the border with Guinea and Liberia recently intensified, resulting in new waves of population displacement.

In Liberia, current prospects point to a slight increase in production following slow agriculture sector recovery after several years of civil war. With the exception of Lofa County, relative peace in most areas has facilitated farming. The rice crop, the main staple, has been generally developing satisfactorily and cultivated areas are anticipated to have increased. A GIEWS Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited the country in late November/early December and estimated 2001 cereal production at 144 000 tonnes, which is 13 percent above 1999 level and almost half more than the average of the last five years.

Preliminary FAO estimates for the aggregate cereal production in the nine coastal countries point to a total of about 29,2 million tons. These estimates, presented in Table 3, are very tentative, since crop production forecasts by local administrations are not available to date for all countries.

IV. SUMMARY FOR WESTERN AFRICAN COASTAL COUNTRIES

Following generally favourable growing conditions during the 2001 crop season in most coastal countries, the overall prospects for the 2001 cereal output are good. Cereal production is likely to be normal to above normal, except in Liberia and Sierra Leone where past or present civil disturbances hampered agricultural activities.

The rainy season started in early March in the south of the countries along the Gulf of Guinea, allowing the planting of the main maize crop. Rains generally reached the northern part of these countries in mid-April (in late April Nigeria), allowing land preparation for the sowing of millet and sorghum. Rains generally remained widespread and abundant in July and August. In September, they were below normal in several countries.

The 2001 cereal production estimates are not yet available. Reflecting generally adequate agro-climatic conditions, production should be close to or above normal in most countries, but not reaching pre-crisis levels in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In Sierra Leone, a reduced harvest is anticipated due to persistence of civil disturbances. In Liberia, current prospects point to a slight increase in production following slow agriculture sector recovery after several years of civil war. With the exception of Lofa County, relative peace in most areas has facilitated farming. The rice crop, the main staple, has been generally developing satisfactorily and cultivated areas are anticipated to have increased.

Preliminary FAO estimates for the aggregate cereal production in the nine coastal countries point to a total of about 31 million tonnes, which is below the 2000 level and close to average. These estimates, presented in Table 3, are very tentative, since crop production forecasts by local administrations are not available to date for all countries.

 

Table 3: Western African Coastal Countries - Cereal Production 1991-2000
and preliminary forecast for 2001
(thousand tonnes, gross basis with rice in paddy)

Country Cereal Production Preliminary forecast for 2001 2001/
1996-2000
(%)
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Benin 588 612 628 742 686 717 879 870 972 1 006 1 000 112.5
Cameroon 1 002 906 970 920 1 228 1 314 1 180 1 240 1 350 1 263 1 300 102.4
Côte d’Ivoire 1 288 1 340 1 536 1 678 1 754 1 903 1 602 1 712 1 769 1 848 1 850 104.7
Ghana 1 436 1 255 1 623 1 594 1 825 1 770 1 700 1 767 1 686 1 750 1 600 92.2
Guinea 841 964 953 760 823 872 922 978 1 042 1 100 1 150 117.0
Liberia 109 102 50 23 56 94 100 110 127 144 160 139.0
Nigeria 18 607 19 989 18 509 20 338 20 711 21 636 21 833 22 553 22 211 22 714 23 000 103.7
Sierra Leone 468 479 503 507 402 444 467 375 271 221 240 67.5
Togo 464 495 634 420 443 687 680 589 759 711 700 102.2
Total 2/ 24 800 26 000 25 400 27 000 27 900 29 400 29 400 30 200 30 200 30 800 31 000 103

Source: FAO

 

Some base data on these countries (in french)


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