Mauritania experiences structural food deficits, recurrent drought and environmental degradation, making access to food difficult for vulnerable households. The current Sahel Crisis, has put many agropastoral households at serious risk of food insecurity, and FAO’s work is imperative in order to ensure they can better access food and safeguard their livestock. FAO works to improve agriculture and livestock production by distributing much needed inputs, focusing on livestock health and training on agricultural techniques.

Responding to the crisis

Agriculture provides the livelihoods of about 67 percent of the population in Mauritania. Many families that own livestock, which provide both food and a source of income, have lost large numbers in their herds. FAO is redistributing meat from livestock that will not survive, in order to provide food and additional income to families. This additional income allows herders to buy animal feed and save their remaining livestock. In addition, FAO is distributing seeds to increase pasture production. Training on good livestock management practices and providing health care have also been key to rebuilding the livelihoods of those worst affected by the crisis.

There are thousands of Malian refugees that have fled from conflict and are seeking asylum in Mauritania, many of them travel with their herds. These large refugee livestock herds are a threat to local crops and are creating competition for the little available pasture and limited animal watering points. FAO is providing livestock animal health support to safeguard the only assets that refugees are able to keep during their displacement.

Boosting and diversifying agricultural production

Poor and erratic rainfall has meant failed harvests, and nearly 25 percent of rural households suffer from food insecurity and lack access to drinking water. However, the rainy season from July 2012 was particularly good in comparison with 2011. FAO was able to distribute sorghum and cowpea seeds in time to be planted for July (rain-fed season) and September/October (recessional agriculture season), and a good harvest is expected for November. FAO continues to support overall agricultural production in the country to ensure food availability.

Food prices have remained high, reducing the purchasing power of vulnerable households and making their access to food more difficult. FAO is also supporting gardening, by providing seeds for different varieties of vegetables. Sweet potatoes are becoming an important food for households since they have a high nutritional content, allowing households to improve their nutritional intake. FAO ‘s programme includes a training component to improve the production, management, use and sale of the vegetables produced. By selling surpluses many families will also have an additional income.

Monitoring the locust situation

Mauritania has been negatively impacted by periodic locust invasions. FAO is regularly monitoring the eastern region of the country, where locusts have been found. Small-scale breeding is in progress but locust numbers still remain low. FAO is maintaining survey operations, and may implement control operations should locust numbers increase.


More about the country

 - Key points Relatively well-distributed rainfall in most of the region with above normal in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. Normal availability of pastures in the pastoral more
 - Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa from 01/08 to 30/08/2016. Compare it with the previous one.
 - Key points: Alarming food situation among IDPs in Maiduguri in Borno State - Nigeria. Progressive and near-final installation of the 2016-2017 crop year. The FAO food price index continues to rise since more
 - Keys points: In Chad, food insecurity has deteriorated over the last three years in the Sahelian belt regions. Average rainfall to slightly surplus is very likely on the Sahelian belt. Alarming humanitarian more
 - Over the past decade, the Sahel region has witnessed recurrent and multiple shocks. Droughts, floods, conflicts and insecurity have led to the reduction of the most more
 - Food insecurity situation in the Sahel and West Africa from 01/06 to 30/08/2016. Compare it with the previous one.
 - Key points: Good agricultural production 2015-2016 are confirmed in the Sahel and West Africa. 6.7 million people are affected by food and nutrition insecurity with 4.2 million people more
 - The Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), with the technical and financial support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United more
 - To improve the food security and nutrition by strengthening the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in southern Mauritania and by enabling them to mitigate threats.
 - Keys points: Continued deterioration of the food situation of displaced populations in the Lake Chad basin. Increased number of displaced people in Nigeria and Mali. Continuation of the more