Preliminary results of the 2014-2015 Cropping Season in the Sahel and West Africa

Preliminary results of the 2014-2015 Cropping Season in the Sahel and West Africa
Nov 2014

The 2014-2015 cropping campaign was characterized by a late onset. Despite a better spatial and temporal rainfall distribution in August and September, the significant rainfall deficit persisted in the Western part of the Sahel (Cap Verde, Mauritania, Senegal, the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau) and some areas of Mali, Niger and Chad. In those areas, a number of reseeding cases have been reported as well as plot abandonment especially in the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. On the hydrological field, the flows where low in May and June but normalized in July August and September following the rainfall.

However, flood levels are below average in flooding rice-growing areas on the Niger and Senegal Rivers. That could have negative impacts on the dry season crops. The phytosanitary situation is globally calm. However, seed-eating birds caused serious damages on cereals in the areas of Soum and Sourou in Burkina Faso.

Concerning the pastoral situation, after a continued hunger gap, the re-establishment of rains in July permitted an improvement of rangelands and flooding levels of water points at the end of the rainy season. Nevertheless, an early transhumance was mentioned in Mauritania, Senegal, Benin and Chad. In perspective the insecurity in the Northern part of Mali and North-East of Nigeria and Central Africa Republic represent a risk that could disturb the usual transhumance.

Concerning the Regional Crop production, the forecasted figures don’t include Mali and Niger. The total forecasted cereal production is 48 510 000 tones. It is 4 % higher compared to the one of the previous year and 8% higher compared to the average of the previous 5 years. This production level hides, however, disparities from one country to another. Significant decrease of more than 32% is recorded in the Western Sahel countries and an increase of more than 9% in the costal countries.
Compared to the average of the previous 5 years, rice production (14 809 000 tonnes) and maize (18 094 000 tonnes) experienced respectively 25% and 12% increase. Nevertheless, Millet production (3 891 806 tonnes) experienced a decrease of 29%. Groundnut production (5 818 620 tonnes), cassava (84 086 000 tonnes), yam (63 463 000 tonnes) and taro (4 840 000 tonnes) experienced respectively increase of 5%, 7%, 20%, and 92%. The Cowpea production (3 652 584 tonnes) is stable (-1%).