3 December 2002


Mission Highlights

  • Cereal production in 2002 is forecast at 901 500 tonnes, including off-season crops. This represents a 6 percent fall from 2001 and is 3 percent below the average for the last five years. The reduction is mainly due to a three-to-five week dry spell from late June to late July.

  • Thus, cereal output in 2002 is further below the already reduced level in 2001, which led to the country’s food supply problems in the 2001/02 marketing year.

  • Millet production is significantly down for the second consecutive year, which should exert upward pressure on millet prices again this year and impact negatively on the purchasing power of poor households.

  • Cereal import requirements for 2002/03 (November-October) amount to 1 056 440 tonnes, which will be largely covered by planned commercial imports. However, the shortfall in coarse grains, especially millet, could be more difficult to cover because of low availability and trade of this grain in the subregion. By contrast, there is good potential for increased rice importation, possibly leading to an even greater shift from millet to rice consumption.

  • Areas with largest deficits are located in the northern half of the country (Diourbel-Tivouane-Louga-Darou Mousty), in the Dara-M’babane-Revane triangle, in the east and south of the groundnut basin and in the three departments of the region of Ziguinchor where the lack of security makes travel difficult.


A joint FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission visited Senegal from 14 to 20 October 2002. The mission held talks with the government representative, the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, at the beginning and end of its visit, to inform him of its mandate and preliminary conclusions. The mission also met with public technical services, donors, rice importers and other representatives of the private sector.

The mission made field visits to gain first-hand information on the cropping season and food situation from producers, market operators and extension services.

The mission reached the following conclusions:

Food security in Senegal is based on cereal supplies, half (in terms of quantity) from the international market and mainly in the form of rice imports, and half produced domestically.

The 2002 agricultural season was characterized by the following: (a) a reduced cereal output (-7 percent compared with 2001), with a particularly sharp fall for millet (-21.7 percent); (b) an unprecedented increase in the price of millet because of declining availability and adverse climatic events (torrential rains in January 2002 and dry spell in July/August 2002); (c) a dysfunctional groundnut marketing sector, which has deprived producers of fair and timely remuneration; (d) limited producer access to agricultural inputs because of restrictive terms of credit resulting from high levels of arrears.

Cereal output for 2002 is estimated at 901 500 tonnes, including off-season crops amounting to 66 500 tonnes. This represents a 6 percent fall from 2001 and is 3 percent below the average for the last five years. Millet output is down again, this time by 10 percent from 2001, which was already significantly down from 2000.

The provisional cereal balance for 2002/03 points to an import requirement of 1 056 440 tonnes of cereals. Specific measures would be necessary for vulnerable population groups in shortfall areas. At-risk areas have been identified in the northern half of the country (Diourbel-Tivouane-Louga-Darou Mousty), in the Dara-M’babane-Revane triangle, in the east and south of the groundnut basin and in the three departments of the region of Ziguinchor, where the lack of security makes travel difficult.

Finally, if farmers are to have better access to agricultural inputs, the Government and agricultural associations need to resolve the problem of agricultural credit, and especially the problem of repayment arrears.


Real growth has fluctuated significantly since independence, reflecting the changing pattern of agricultural production determined by rainfall. Following the devaluation of the CFA Franc in January 1994 and in spite of unfavourable conditions (lack of rainfall in 1997/98 and serious power cuts in 1999), real GDP growth has remained stable at between 5.2 and 5.7 percent since 1995, producing a modest improvement in living standards.

Apart from the two years immediately after the devaluation (1994 and 1995), inflation remained at an average of 1.5 percent for 1996-2000. This control of inflation, which is common to all countries of the Franc zone (WAEMU and CEMAC), can be attributed to the restrictive monetary policy adopted by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

The Government of Senegal envisages a budget deficit of 21 000 million CFAF in 2002, which represents 0.6 percent of GDP and is significantly better than 2001, when the deficit was equivalent to 3.8 percent of GDP. The Government should adopt an expansionary fiscal policy from 2003, with additional resources from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative scheduled to come into effect at the end of 2002.

Senegal's balance of trade has traditionally been in deficit as Table 1 indicates.

Table 1. Senegal: Selected indicators 1997–2001

  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
GDP (thousand million CFAF) 2 556 2 761 2 925 3 114 3 406
Real GDP Growth (%) 5.0 5.7 5.1 5.5 5.8
Consumer Price Index (%) 1.6 1.1 0.9 0.7 3.1
Population (million) 9.0 9.3 9.5 9.8 10.0
Exports (US$ million) 905 968 1 027 920 1 017
Imports (US$ million) 1 176 1 281 1 373 1 339 1 335
Current account balance (US$ million) -185 -248 -320 -401 -259
Exchange rate (CFAF/US$) 584 590 617 712 733
Source: EIU, Country Profile 2001.

Senegal's main exports are fish and fishery products, phosphates and fertilizer, and groundnuts and groundnut products (Table 2). Its main import item is food, notably rice.

Table 2. Senegal: Principal exports and imports, 2000 (US$ million)

Exports Imports
Fish and fishery products 222 Foodstuffs 326
Phosphates and fertilizer 101 Capital goods 216
Groundnuts and groundnut products 84 Petroleum products 341
Source: EIU, Country Report, July 2002.

Agriculture continues to be a key sector of the economic employing more than half the population, accounting for 10 percent of GDP and absorbing some 10 percent of public investment. It also plays an important economic role by contributing towards food security, providing agro-industry with raw materials (groundnut, cotton, etc.) and absorbing some of the production of the industrial, semi-industrial and artisanal sectors (fertilizer, pesticides, agricultural equipment, etc.).

However, the agricultural sector has been in deep crisis since the mid-1980s: production of millet, the main cereal produced locally, has levelled off, while the population has grown by 2.7 percent annually; rice cultivation, which accounts for 20 percent of cereal output, is faced with stiff competition from imported rice, and the main cash crop, groundnut, has experienced marketing problems since the Government decided in December 2001 to liquidate SONAGRAINES, the public entity hitherto responsible for marketing the crop. On top of this, European demand for groundnut has stagnated.

Difficult access to fertilizers, the growing indebtedness of rural populations, soil degradation and the limited availability of quality seeds have had a negative impact on yields and are restricting agricultural intensification.

By contrast, horticulture is doing well, generating some 6000 jobs in 2000/01, 72 percent in rural areas and 60 percent for rural women. If the constraints hampering its further development are lifted (infrastructural inadequacies, low operator capacity, difficult access to capital and dedicated technology), the horticultural sector could serve as a good means of diversifying income and reducing rural poverty.

An estimated 300 000 households are thought to be engaged in some form of livestock production, which is not only important as a savings strategy but is also an effective way of reducing rural household vulnerability. In 2001, there were close to 3 million head of cattle, 4.2 million sheep and 3.6 million goats.

About 17 percent of the active population, equivalent to some 600 000 persons, earn a living from fisheries. Marine fisheries and associated activities play an important role in wealth creation. Global turnover for the fisheries sector amounted to 293 000 million CFAF in 1999, including 108 000 million from landings and 185 000 million from export earnings. Overfishing is a real threat and the total annual catches of 450 000 tonnes in the late 1990s exceeded the 420 000 tonnes considered to be sustainable.


3.1 Rainfall

The first measurable rains reached the southeast (Kédougou) in mid-May, then extended and intensified during the first half of June in the south (Kolda, Ziguinchor), east (Tambacouda, Bakel), and centre-south (Kaolack).

The rains then covered the centre (Djourbel) and north (Louga, Linguere, Ranerou, Matam) during the second half of June.

The Sahel zone (Saint Louis, Podor) saw its first rains in July.

There was a dry spell from late June/early July, which lasted three to five weeks, depending on the region. It was longer in the extreme north (Saint Louis, Podor) and centre-west (Dakar, western part of the department of Thiès, the departments of Mbour and Fatick).

The rains resumed towards the end of the first dekad of August (9-10), with good rainfall conditions for crop growth lasting until the second dekad of September.

A second dry spell then occurred during the last dekad of September and early October. The rains resumed towards 7-10 October throughout the country.

The regions with the most serious rain shortages were: Saint Louis, Matam, Louga and Thiès. The respective meteorological stations recorded the following rainfalls as of 10 October 2002:

3.2  Agricultural inputs

The quantity of fertilizer used in Senegal's agriculture has fallen in the last five years from 45 500 tonnes in 1997/98 to 25 000 tonnes in 2001/02. The annual average cropped area of 2.2 million hectares gives a fertilizer application of 11.36 kg/ha.

Fertilizer is mainly used for groundnut, cotton and rice, while the coarse grains (millet, sorghum, maize), which account for some 50 percent of cropland only receive a minute share that is poorly estimated by the extension services.

This decline in use of fertilizer can be explained by the restrictions on access to credit, whereby only farmers with a 100 percent repayment record are eligible to further credit for inputs (seed and fertilizer).

The high level of arrears in the repayment of short-term credit for the purchase of inputs in previous seasons did not encouraged the banks or the State to look favourably on farmers for the 2002 agricultural season.

Cereal seeds are either from farmer stocks or from the market, where the species mix contrasts with the varietal purity of selected seeds.

In 1996 the Government eased taxation on agricultural materials for three years. It has also liberalized the agricultural input trade which is now functioning erratically as the State withdraws and privatization takes hold.

Seeds for groundnut, the main export and cash crop, were in short supply for the 2002 planting season, with the private operator lacking the capacity to handle demand for 35 000 tonnes.

3.3 Area planted to cereals

The 2002 cropping season had three planting phases determined by rainfall.

First planting phase

The significant rains of the first half of June permitted the planting of millet, groundnut, maize, sorghum, rice and cotton in the south (Kolda, Ziguinchor), centre-south (Kaolack, Fatick), southeast and east (Kédougou, Tambacounda).

Second planting phase

The second phase started when the rains extended towards the centre-north (Djourbel, Thiès) and north (Louga, Saint Louis) of the country in the second half of June. Millet, maize and groundnut were planted.

Third planting phase

This phase took place at the end of the first dekad of August, after a dry spell that, depending on the region, had lasted 20 to 40 days from late June/early July to around 9 August.

Planting was influenced by strategies to compensate for crop areas that had not survived prolonged water stress and also to replace crops that were unlikely to have time to complete their growing cycle.

The impact of the long dry spell on planted areas

The total planted area is up 4 percent from last year, indicating repeated plantings and demonstrating farmer determination to increase food supplies.

Millet seeds have shown a surprising capacity of revival, especially in light soils rich in organic matter. The cropped area is up 2 percent from 2001 and is more or less equivalent to the average for the last five years.

Maize posted the heaviest losses, to the point where some producers decided to replace it with other crops (watermelon, fonio, sesame, vegetables, sorghum). Nevertheless, the area planted to maize was still 21 percent up from 2001 and 54 percent higher than the average for the last five years.

Sorghum planting was slightly affected in the centre-south and south. But planted area was up 14 percent from 2001 and 8 percent higher than the average for the last five years.

Rice planting fell 12 percent because of insufficient water to submerge plots.

3.4  Cereal yields

The impact of the long dry spell and the erratic and uneven distribution of rainfall have had an even more serious impact on yields, which are down from 2001 and below the average for the last five years for all crops.

Yields fell by 54 percent for rice, 45 percent for maize, 34 percent for sorghum and 22 percent for millet.

As compared to the average for 1997-2001, rice yields were down by 53 percent, maize by 40 percent, sorghum by 24 percent, and millet by 22 percent.

The poor distribution of rainfall has clearly had a negative impact, and rice and maize have generally proved to be the most sensitive to water stress.

3.5  Estimated cereal production in 2002

Estimates are based largely on the agricultural survey conducted each year by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. The survey covers a sample of 3 100 agricultural holdings taken from the agricultural census of 1998. The mission validated the survey figures through comparison with historical data and interviewed technical service staff and farmers on yields, production levels and the crop situation. Finally, it based its conclusions on the performance of the survey and the quality of the collated reply sheets.

Levels of production

Total rainfed production of the main cereals (millet, sorghum, maize, rice, fonio) is put at 835 000 tonnes. The addition of an estimated 66 500 tonnes of off-season crops brings the provisional aggregate to 901 500 tonnes of cereals.

Rainfed cereal production (835 000 tonnes) is 13 percent down from 2001, or 6 percent down with the inclusion of off-season crops. This level is 3 percent below the average for the last five years. Thus, cereal output in 2002 is further below the already reduced level in 2001, which led to the country’s food supply problems in the 2001/02 marketing year.

Domestic cereal production in 2002 provides a gross availability of 87.8 kg of cereals per inhabitant, which corresponds to less than 50 percent of gross intake.

As regards individual cereals, output of millet, Senegal’s second most important cereal, fell to one of its lowest levels in four years, falling by 10 percent from 2001, and 13 percent down compared to the average output for 1997-2001. The consequent limited availability of millet could therefore determine cereal market behaviour in 2003. Again compared to 2001, rice production is down by 10 percent and maize down by 3 percent, although 37 percent up from the average for the last five years. Sorghum is the only crop with a higher output in 2002, rising 10 percent from 2001 and up by 15 percent on the average for the last five years.

A regional breakdown of agricultural production identifies the largest output declines in Thiès, Saint Louis, Matam, Louga and Fatick. The situation in Ziguinchor, where production dropped by 59 percent from 2001, needs to be placed in the perspective of poor security and possible information distortion. Weather conditions corroborate this regional picture.

Table 3. Regional change in cereal production compared to 2001 and the average for 1997- 2001 (‘000 tonnes)

  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 average 1997-01 2002 average (%) 2001 (%)
Dakar 0.1 0.1 0.4 0.9 0.6 0.4 0.1 -76 -83
Diourbel 33.2 48.5 44.9 77.0 52.2 51.2 55.3 5 6
Fatick 61.6 67.8 90.2 84.0 106.0 81.9 77.7 -5 -26
Koalack 269.5 240.0 237.0 287.0 213.0 249.4 259.1 4 21
Kolda 113.1 99.6 136.0 138.0 152.0 127.6 138.2 8 -9
Louga 10.9 18.1 50.2 53.6 41.5 34.9 22.5 -35 -46
St. Louis/ Matam 168 97.6 177.0 169.0 144.0 151.1 107.3 -29 -25
Tamba 69.9 88.9 111.0 106.0 113.0 97.8 113.3 16 0
Thiés 43.3 46.0 82.0 65.0 48.1 56.9 24.3 -57 -49
Ziguinchor 47.9 64.0 80.0 80.0 90.8 72.5 36.9 -49 -59
Senegal 817.5 770.6 1 008.7 1 060.5 961.2 923.7 901.5 -3 -6
NB: The total of 901 000 tonnes for 2002 includes off-season cereal production estimated at 66 500 tonnes.

The change in cereal output highlights the importance of millet, which is the second most important food grain in Senegal after rice and which posted a fall for the second consecutive year: falling by 21.7 percent in 2001 and by 10 percent in 2002. The absence of selected seeds and the restricted availability of credit to purchase fertilizer are two constraints hampering an increased production of this crop which proved to be extraordinarily resistant to water stress during the long dry spell.

3.6  Other crops

Groundnut area, yield and production are all lower in 2002 than 2001and the five-year average. Besides the erratic rainfall, other factors influencing this crop’s output have been difficulties in procuring inputs (seed, fertilizer) and the sector’s dysfunctional marketing structure.

Table 4. Production of main cash crops 1997- 2001 (tonnes)

  Groundnut Cotton Cowpea
1997 551 394 40 279 19 335
1998 579 067 11 628 40 620
1999 1 014 247 14 616 68 000
2000 1 067 951 20 383 47 290
2001 959 859 34 238 31 720
Average 1997-2001 84 504 24 229 41 393
2002 532 936 n.a. 1 2 087
1/ Not available
Source: DAPS

3.7  Animal production

The cattle population appears to have remained at a steady 3 million head over the last five years, while sheep and goats have increased slightly to 4.5 million and 3.9 million respectively. Poultry numbers, on the other hand, have clearly risen, which, given that the main poultry feed is maize, could have an impact on the availability of maize for human consumption.

Table 5. Senegal: Animal population 1997-2000 (‘000 head)

Cattle 2 898 2 912 2 927 2 986
Sheep 4 198 4 345 4 497 4 542
Goats 3 578 3 703 3 833 3 879
Pigs 191 214 240 269
Horses 444 445 446 471
Asses 375 376 377 299
Camels 3,87 3,87 3,87 3,87
Traditional poultry 13 118 15 055 18 277 18 900
Industrial poultry 4 956 5 287 4 710 5 595
Source: DAPS

3.8  Fishery production

Artisanal fishery landings in 2001 totalled 332 000 tonnes with a commercial value of some 60 000 million CFAF.

Table 6. Senegal: Artisanal fishery indicators 2001

Regions Landing
No of fishing
commercial value
(‘000 CFAF)
River Sea
Dakar 16 - 2 187 33 929 16 572 5 180 14 280 1 942
Thiès 16 - 2 627 235 606 25 262 122 698 23 447 29 757
St-Louis 15 149 1 670 32 751 6 202 18 835 6 362 2 389
Fatick 65 988 646 11 267 4 007 6 266 1 585 1 146
Ziguinchor 72 1 943 420 15 519 6 508 1 545 2 729 3 371
Louga 8 - 66 2 532 602 659 328 479
Kaolack 3 11 - 757 303 249 491 2
Total 2001 186 3 091 7 616 332 360 59 456 155 429 49 222 39 086
Total 2000 186 3 091 7 616 338 209 54 345 182 353 44 016 36 857
Change in % 0.9% 0.0% 0.0% -1.7% 9.4% -14.8% 11.8 6.05
Source: Food Security Office (CSA).


4.1 Access to food and prices

Senegal imports about half its cereal requirements. The price of imported rice depends on the CFAF/US$ exchange rate and world prices. Senegal imports mainly broken rice from Pakistan, Thailand and Viet Nam. At the macro-economic level, access of Senegal’s population to food also depends on the country's ability to export and earn foreign currency. The other half of cereal supply comes mainly from domestic rainfed production, which is very unpredictable given the country’s predominantly Sahelian climate.

On the whole, the markets continue to be properly supplied by a market structure that functions well. Rice importation has been liberalized since 1996, with the market dominated by three main importers handling about 80 percent of the business. These then sell 3000-4000 tonne batches to large wholesalers, who in turn sell 5-10 tonne batches to semi-wholesalers, and so on down to retailer level.

The market for coarse grains (millet, maize and sorghum) is also liberalized but trade is far more fractional, with small quantities assembled by dealers into ever larger volumes up to wholesale level.

While markets are well supplied, rice prices behave differently from millet prices. Rice prices have remained stable (see Table 8) and even dropped slightly from October 2001 to September 2002 in Dakar and Tambacounda. The stability of rice is due to the increased value of the CFAF against the dollar in 2001 and to an adequate world supply of the broken rice that is consumed in Senegal.

Table 7. Senegal: Rice prices on four markets CFAF/kg (October 2001-September 2002)

  Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sept
Dakar 207 205 209 204 203 203 202 202 202 203 203 203
Kolda 199 207 202 169 197 199 215 216 213 215 222 223
Louga 200 191 193 194 189 189 190 197 202 199 198 200
Tambacounda 230 210 213 179 210 210 210 210 222 220 217 210
Source: Food Security Office (CSA)

By contrast, the prices of coarse grains and especially millet have risen significantly since March 2002 (Graph 2). In Dakar, for example, the price of millet jumped from 149 CFAF/kg in October 2001 to 253 CFAF/kg in September 2002, which is an increase of 70 percent in one year, in a context of 3.1 percent inflation in 2001. Prices behaved normally until March 2002, then rocketed to higher levels than rice, a very rare occurrence in Senegal. This surge in price is unusual as can be seen from Graph 3 which tracks the price of millet in Thiès over the past three years. The graph shows that millet prices increased far more from March 2002 than in the corresponding period in 1999/2000 and 2000/01. There are several reasons for this unusual increase, but two in particular:

a) Low millet output in 2001

 Millet output in 2001 was at 470 000 tonnes, well below the previous year’s 600 221 tonnes and below the average 511 914 tonnes for the period 1997-2001. This low production in 2001 resulted in an unusually early start to the 2002 lean season.

Table 8. Senegal: production of millet 1997/98 – 2001/02 (tonnes)

Year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Average
Production 426 481 557 096 505 728 600 221 470 005 511 914

b)  A difficult groundnut season

 The private sector had not been properly primed to take over from SONAGRAINES when it was dissolved in September 2001. This led to problems in marketing groundnut, the main cash crop, causing delays in the payment of farmers who were obliged to sell part of their grain (especially millet) stock at harvest to meet their cash needs. This early drawdown of millet stocks has exacerbated the fact that the 2001 harvest was already below the average level.

Table 8 shows that millet production has tended to remain relatively stable. However, the population has been rising by 2.7 percent each year which, in a context of unchanged millet output, could apply pressure to prices, unless Senegal manages to increase its production or to import millet from neighbouring countries.

4.2 Food outlook and cereal markets in 2003

The aggregate 2002 cereal harvest is below that of 2001 and the five-year average. However, outputs have been good in the south, centre-south and east, and any surpluses will be mobilized for the north and centre-west of the country where harvests have been mediocre. Significant localized shortfalls are to be expected.

Millet and rice dominate food consumption in Senegal, with local production covering demand for millet and imports covering demand for rice.

As normal, the 2002/03 millet consumption cycle will be in two phases:

  1. Heavy demand in the first six months of the post-harvest period from November 2002 to March 2003 because of increased consumption dictated by the social calendar (Lent, Christmas, "korité", "magal" and "mouloud" festivals);

  2. A second period from April to October 2003 dominated by rural demand to help farmers with the agricultural season.

This year’s social events will again have an inflationary impact on prices as they occur immediately after harvest and could cause heavy consumption in a context of two consecutive years of falling domestic production of millet.

At the same time, groundnut prospects for 2002 are not particularly good and there is still no guarantee of better marketing. The expected fall in production would mean a reduction in income for the rural population, who might try to make up for this by placing greater quantities of cereal on the market, which would again convert them into net real purchasers during the lean season.

There would therefore be a higher supply of local cereals, especially millet, and thus lower prices in the first phase of the demand cycle (November to March), but a likely reduction in supply, and thus rise in price, during the second phase from April to November when some farmers become net purchasers for the 2003 agricultural season.

Measures need to be envisaged to deal with possible price hike problems and a low availability of food and seeds.

4.3 Provisional cereal outlook 2002/03

The forecast supply and demand situation for 2002/03 (November-October) is based on the following assumptions:

Table 9. Senegal: Cereal balance for 2002/03 (‘000 tonnes)

  Rice Wheat Coarse Grains Total Cereals
DOMESTIC AVAILABILITY 402.31 20.94 703.25 1 126 50
Opening stocks 182.95 20.94 21.10 224.99
National production 219.36 - 682.15 901.51
TOTAL UTILIZATION 990.83 277.74 914.37 2 182.93
Food 719.04 256.80 790.94 1 766.78
Seeds, losses and other 88.84 - 102.32 191.16
Closing stocks 182.95 20.94 21.10 224.99
IMPORT REQUIREMENTS 588.52 256.80 211.12 1 056 44

Imports needed to cover the shortfall between domestic availability and total utilization amount to 1 056 44 tonnes. Commercial imports and pledged food aid will largely cover the rice and wheat requirements. Rice importers even expect imports to reach 650 000 tonnes in 2002/03, so there are clear prospects of higher rice imports. However, the shortfall in coarse grains, notably millet, could be more difficult to offset given the low availability and trade of this cereal in the subregion. This could result in millet being replaced by rice. The shortfall could also be partly covered by unregistered imports from neighbouring countries.


Food deficit areas

There were anomalies during the cropping season and pockets of insufficient production have been identified in several parts of the country:

However, not all these deficit areas are vulnerable; some may have other sources of income, such as horticulture, enabling families to offset the impact of higher millet prices.

Intervention strategies

In parallel with the Government's commitments to the rural sector (CFAF 15 000 million earmarked for the distribution of 53 000 tonnes of rice in the 2002/03 lean season at 10 kg per person), WFP has distributed food to help people through the lean season under the "crisis prevention" component of its Country Programme 2002-2006. Of 860 tonnes of food distributed in September 2002, 10 percent were distributed as emergency supplies to village groups unable to fulfil their annual plan of work and 90 percent were distributed as "food-for-work". The food was distributed in the departments of Kolda, Vélingara, Kédougou, Tambacounda and Kaffrine.

Three strategies are advocated in expectation of further Government commitments to food distribution in the 2003 lean season.

At the request of, and in collaboration with, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Senegal’s vulnerability map is being updated through workshops, field surveys and analysis of current secondary data. This tool will help identify household strategies and capacities to deal with a sizeable cereal deficit; enhance the targeting of Government distribution; and permit better coordination of interventions by the Government, donors and development partners. The approved document should be available by May 2003.

General state of vulnerability

The study has shown that 10 percent of the 223 households surveyed in the departments of Tambacounda, Vélingara and Kaffrine are presently in a state of food insecurity, that 16 percent are vulnerable and that 11 percent are potentially vulnerable. The vulnerable areas are concentrated in the centre-west of Tambacounda and Vélingara, in the horseshoe around the northeast, east and southeast border with Gambia. Almost 30 percent of villages in these areas are affected by ongoing vulnerability, 15 percent of households live in a state of food insecurity and 18.5 percent exist in a state of vulnerability.

Characteristics of vulnerable households

Analysis of source of income shows agriculture’s contribution to income has been seriously damaged, dropping from 45 percent in a normal year to 19 percent this year. This dramatic fall has been particularly hard for households currently affected by food insecurity and vulnerable households for whom agriculture normally accounts for over 70 percent of income. The most direct consequence for these households is the need to diversify source of income - but they lack the necessary productive assets.

Nutritional status of vulnerable groups

There are high indicators of poor nutritional status among the vulnerable groups. The level of acute malnutrition for children up to the age of five stands at around 15 percent and indicators for children of all ages and both sexes are all far higher than in the Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey of 2000.

WFP assistance

WFP will assist 23 300 beneficiaries in the departments of Kaffrine, Tambacounda, Kédougou, Vélingara and Kolda. The objective is to provide nutritional supplements to prevent any deterioration in nutritional status of the population and to protect productive assets. The daily food ration corresponds to about 1 700 kcal per person or 475 grams in the form of cereals (400 g), pulses (50 g) and vegetable oil (25 g). Food distribution will be free or as food-for-work for a period of six months from 1 April to 30 September.

This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.

Henri Josserand
Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail: giews1@fao.org
M. Aranda da Silva
Regional Director, ODD, WFP
Fax: 00221-8223798
E-mail: Manuel.ArandadaSilva@wfp.org

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1. The information in this section is taken mainly from the "Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Profile 2001 and Country Report", July 2002.