BENIN (5 February)
Harvesting of the secondary maize crop is complete and output is expected to be average. Land preparation is underway for the first maize crop to be planted with the expected onset of the rains in March. Reflecting favourable growing conditions, the 2001 cereal crop, mostly maize and sorghum, is estimated at 900 000 tonnes, some 100 000 tonnes lower than the record of the previous year but slightly above average. The overall food supply situation remains satisfactory; markets are well supplied and prices have decreased slightly. Cereal imports for domestic use and re-exports in 2001 have been estimated at 138 000 tonnes including 11 000 tonnes of food aid.
BURKINA FASO (5 February)
The 2001 aggregate cereal production has been estimated by a joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission at 2. 80 million tonnes, 22 percent higher than the previous year and 15 percent above average.
The tight food supply situation in some areas in 2001 due to poor harvests in 2000 is expected to improve. The national food security reserves which were depleted in 2001 are expected to be replenished to the desired level of 35 000 tonnes. However, localized food shortages may persist in areas which had poor crops due to the early end of the rains.
Cereal import requirement in 2001/02 (November/October), mostly rice and wheat, is forecast at 170 000 tonnes, including 20 000 tonnes as food aid.
CAPE VERDE (5 February)
Production of maize (virtually the only cereal produced in the country) in 2001 has been estimated by a joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission in mid-October at 18 680 tonnes. This is 23 percent lower than the previous year but some 5 000 tonnes higher than average.
In anticipation of a tight food supply situation in several areas, the Government has appealed for international food assistance, as well as agricultural inputs.
Cereal import requirement in 2001/02 marketing year is forecast at 93 000 tonnes, with food aid accounting for more than 50 percent.
In early January 2002 the country experienced unseasonable heavy rains and floods which caused damage to infrastructure and farmland. An assessment of the damage is being organized locally.
CHAD (5 February)
Reflecting above-average rains in September, prospects for the secondary sorghum recession crop, to be harvested soon, are good and pastures are abundant.
Favourable growing conditions in 2001 resulted in an excellent cereal crop, estimated by a joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission at 1.24 million tonnes, more than one-third higher than the previous year and 16 percent above average.
As a result, the food supply situation should improve, specially in the chronically food deficit areas in the Sahelian zone which harvested poor crops in 2000. However, some 143 000 people in the Sudanian zone are at risk of food shortages following floods that affected 144 0000 hectares of arable land.
Import requirement of cereals (wheat and rice) in 2001/02 marketing year (November/October) is estimated at 65 000 tonnes including 10 000 tonnes of food aid.
CÔTE D'IVOIRE (5 February)
Land preparation is underway in the south for the sowing of the main maize crop in March. Production of cereals (mostly maize and rice) in 2001 is tentatively estimated at 1.8 million tonnes, slightly more than the previous year and above average.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. There are some 120 000 Liberian refugees still in the country, mainly in the west.
THE GAMBIA (5 February)
The country harvested a record cereal crop for the second consecutive year. A joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission estimated the aggregate 2001 cereal output at 198 600 tonnes, 13 percent above 2000 and 49 percent above the average of the last five years. The increase in production was due to generally favourable growing conditions and a significantly larger area planted to cereals. Increased production is also reported for the major cash crops. Groundnut output increased 8 percent to some 149 600 tonnes.
Following three consecutive years of bumper harvests, the overall food supply situation is satisfactory and markets are well supplied. Like Cape Verde, the country was hit by unseasonable torrential rains and floods and an assessment of the damage is being organized locally.
Cereal import requirement for the marketing year 2001/02 (November/October) is forecast at 123 000 tonnes.
GHANA (5 February)
Land preparation for the main maize crop, to be harvested from July, is underway. Dry weather from August 2001 in some areas, mainly in the north, seriously affected the main season cereal crop harvested in October last year. The secondary season cereal crop, recently harvested, was also adversely affected. The food outlook for 2002 is unfavourable, particularly for vulnerable groups in rural areas of the north.
An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Assessment Mission is currently in the country to assess the 2001/02 food production, the overall food supply situation and estimate commercial import and food aid requirements in 2002.
GUINEA (5 February)
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory following satisfactory harvests in 2000 and 2001. Markets are well supplied, except in the south-east where recurrent rebel incursions from Sierra Leone continue to adversely affect agricultural and marketing activities. The presence of a large refugee population and the persistent instability in the sub-region have exacted a heavy toll on the country. Armed clashes in and around the country have also resulted in increasing numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs). A UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal was launched on 26 November 2001 to assist the country to cope with the serious humanitarian situation.
GUINEA-BISSAU (5 February)
A joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission last October estimated 2001 cereal production at some 164 000 tonnes, 3 percent lower than the previous year but 3 percent above average.
Cereal import requirement in 2001/02 (November/October) is forecast at 70 000 tonnes, including 10 000 tonnes of food aid.
LIBERIA* (8 February)
Reflecting generally favourable weather and a relatively calm security situation, the output of the 2001 paddy crop is estimated slightly above the 183 000 tonnes produced in the previous year. However, production has not fully recovered from several years of civil war and the country continues to require food assistance.
The general security situation has deteriorated in recent weeks, with the Government declaring a state of emergency on 8 February 2002. The number of internally displaced people is increasing, and with it the increasing need for assistance.
MALI (5 February)
Seasonably dry conditions prevail. Prospects for off-season irrigated or recession crops are favourable and pastures are abundant. Reflecting adequate growing conditions, the aggregate 2001 cereal production was estimated by a joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission at 2. 86 million tonnes, 20 percent more than the previous year and significantly above average. Maize production almost doubled compared with 223 000 tonnes harvested in the previous year, while sorghum and paddy outputs increased by 17 percent and 13 percent respectively to 695 000 tonnes and 840 000 tonnes.
The overall food situation is satisfactory. Markets are well supplied and prices are stable.
Import requirement in cereals in 2001/02(November/October) is estimated at 90 000 tonnes, including 5 000 tonnes of wheat as food aid.
MAURITANIA (5 February)
Unseasonably heavy rains and cold weather which affected the regions of Brakna, Trarza and Gorgol on 9-11 January caused casualties and left thousands of people homeless. More than 120 000 head of livestock died and 3 000 tonnes of rice just harvested were damaged. Prices of cereals which were already higher than a year ago, have risen considerably in these regions.
A joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission in October 2001 estimated aggregate cereal production in 2001 at some 160 000 tonnes, lower than both the previous year and average. This decrease was mostly due to inadequate availability of irrigation water due to the low water level in the Senegal river which reached the flood level only in early September. By contrast, production in low-lying areas has increased compared to 2000 as all operational dams reached over 70 percent of capacity.
The food supply situation continues to be very tight and civil distress has been reported, notably in the Senegal river valley and in the Aftout. Already, 79 communes in Gorgol, Brakna, Takant, Adrar, Trarza and Hodh El Chargoui have been identified as at risk of food shortages.
Cereal import requirement including re-exports in the marketing year ending October 2002 is estimated at 279 000 tonnes, including 22 000 tonnes of food aid.
NIGER (5 February)
Reflecting favourable growing conditions and availability of agricultural inputs, cereal production in 2001 was estimated by a joint FAO/CILSS Crop Assessment Mission at a record 3.2 million tonnes, 48 percent higher than the poor crop in the previous year and about one-third more than average. Most of the increase came from millet which increased by some 0.75 million tonnes to 2.4 million tonnes.
Consequently, the food supply situation should improve from the unfavourable harvest in the previous year and farmers should be able to replenish their stocks. Prices of cereals have decreased significantly. The Government should also be able to replenish the national food security reserve to the desired level of 35 000 tonnes.
Cereal import requirement in 2001/02 (November/October) is estimated at some 320 000 tonnes, almost half the volume imported in the previous year.
NIGERIA (5 February)
Land preparation is underway in the south for the sowing of the first maize crop due to start in March with the arrival of rains. Production of cereals in 2001 is tentatively estimated at some 24 million tonnes, higher than both the previous year and the average.
The food supply situation is tight in several areas notably in the states of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba as a result of communal conflicts. As these are some of the most important food producing areas, the adverse situation could seriously threaten national food security.
SENEGAL (5 February)
Unseasonably heavy rains and cold weather which affected the northern regions of Saint Louis and Louga between 9-11 January caused casualties and left thousands of people homeless. In addition, more than 2 000 hectares of arable land was damaged and an estimated 470 000 head of livestock died. Significant losses of food, including rice and vegetables, are also reported. On 17 January the Government launched an international appeal for assistance to meet the immediate needs of the population in the affected regions. A locally-organized assessment of the food situation is planned for 11-13 February 2002.
Overall, the food situation is satisfactory following above average 2001 cereal crop and substantial imports late last year. The markets are well supplied and prices of millet and sorghum have decreased with the arrival of fresh produce on the markets.
Cereal import requirements in 2001/02 (November/October) are forecast at 840 000 tonnes, slightly less than actual imports in the previous year.
SIERRA LEONE* (5 February)
Cereal production in 2001 is estimated to be higher than the previous year’s harvest, reflecting increased plantings by returning refugees and farmers previously displaced, as well as improved conditions for the distribution of agricultural inputs.
The security situation is reported to be relatively calm. On 18 January the President declared the end of the disarmament process and announced the lifting of the curfew which had been in force for four years.
In an effort to continue helping the country, a UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal was launched on 26 November 2001 by the UN Secretary General. The agricultural component of the Appeal includes five projects proposed by FAO with the aim of facilitating the transition from dependence on food aid to self-reliance in food production and enhanced food security.
TOGO (5 February)
Land preparation for the sowing of the first maize crop is about to start in the south. Notwithstanding irregular rains during the entire growing season, the aggregate output of cereals in 2001 is estimated at about 0.7 million tonnes, which is average. The overall food supply situation is satisfactory.