FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 11/01 - THE GAMBIA (6 November)

THE GAMBIA (6 November)

Precipitation was average or below average from mid-September to early October but improved significantly during the second dekad of October. The rainy season ended in late October. A joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission visited the country in late October and estimated with national services the aggregate output of cereals (including rice) at 198 200 tonnes, against 175 900 tonnes last year, which was already a record level. This year’s output is about 13 percent above last year and 49 percent above the last five-year average. Total coarse grain output increased by 15 percent over 2000 and 56 percent over the five-year average. The total harvested area under cereals is estimated at 152 800 hectares which is 14 percent above the previous year and 36 percent above the last five-year average. Major cash crops such as groundnut and sesame also performed well. Groundnut production is estimated at 149 640 tonnes, 8 percent above last year and 54 percent above the five-year average. Sesame production, estimated at 1361 tonnes, is gaining importance.

Following successive bumper harvests, the overall food supply situation is satisfactory. Only Kantora district experienced poor germination and crop production is expected to decline, especially for early millet and maize. Part of the population in this district may experience food difficulties and may be food insecure, particularly during the lean season. The situation needs to be monitored carefully.