GIEWS > Data & Tools > Earth Observation
GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Country Briefs


Reference Date: 23-April-2020


  1. Timely start of 2020 cropping season

  2. Above‑average production harvested in 2019

  3. Continued assistance needed for vulnerable people

Timely start of 2020 cropping season

Following a timely onset of seasonal rains in March, planting operations for rice, maize and sorghum crops are ongoing in the southern part of the country and the harvests are expected to start in October 2020. Since the start of the season, adequate rainfall amounts supported soil moisture content for crop development. In most areas, crops are at sprouting, seedling and tillering stages, and weeding activities are regularly underway. In northern areas, seasonal dry weather conditions are still prevailing and planting operations for millet and sorghum, to be harvested from October, are expected to begin in May‑June with the onset of the rains.

Favourable rains have also contributed to the recovery of pasture conditions. Forage availability is overall satisfactory in the main grazing areas of the country, allowing animals to maintain good body conditions and enhance their market value. The animal health situation is generally good and stable, with just some localized outbreaks of seasonal diseases, including Trypanosomiasis and Contagious Bovine Peripneumonia.

Above‑average production harvested in 2019

Harvesting activities of the 2019 rainfed and irrigated crops was completed by end‑January. Favourable rainfall across the country, coupled with an adequate supply of seeds, fertilizers, tractors, capacity building and management services delivered by the Government with the support by international partners’ organizations (FAO), benefited the 2019 national cereal production. The National Support Programme for Actors in Agricultural Sectors (PNAAFA), through the establishment of school fields, provided about 17 500 tonnes of seeds, 52 tonnes of fertilizers, 6 tonnes of dolomite and 1 450 litres of pesticides. In addition, the Agricultural Productivity Programme in West Africa (PPAAO/WAAPP) has set up a digital platform called E‑Voucher or electronic coupon, for the distribution to producers of 12 tonnes of NPK, 18 800 litres of herbicides, about 147 000 tonnes of rice, nearly 120 000 tonnes of maize and 23 500 tonnes of soybean seeds.

The aggregate cereal output in 2019 is estimated at 4.2 million tonnes, about 17 percent above the five‑year average. The 2019 harvest includes 2.5 million tonnes of paddy rice (over 20 percent above average) and 871 000 tonnes of maize (14 percent above average).

Despite the 2019 above‑average production, import requirements for the 2019/20 marketing year (November/October) are forecast at a slightly above‑average level of 850 000 tonnes as local traders are aiming to replenish their stocks.

Continued assistance needed for vulnerable people

Despite overall favourable food security conditions, some vulnerable households still need external food assistance. According to the March 2020 "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, the aggregate number of severely food insecure people (CH Phase 3: “Crisis” and above) is estimated at about 113 000, below the 146 000 people estimated in March 2019. If appropriate measures and responses are not implemented, this number is projected to increase to 267 000 people during the next lean season between June and August 2020, still below the 288 000 food insecure people that were estimated for the same period in 2019.

COVID‑19 and measures adopted by the Government

In view of the evolving COVID‑19 situation, the Government has decreed a total country lockdown and a curfew, starting from 2 April 2020. The Government has also taken some sanitary, social and economic measures, including the wearing of a community mask or bib which is now mandatory for all citizens. Official restrictions on population movements, combined with heightened levels of fear, have led many people to stay at their homes. Although these measures have not affected access to food, further restrictions on population movements could hamper access to land and have a negative impact on 2020 agricultural production.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.