Reference Date: 08-March-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Above-average harvest gathered in 2015 in spite of erratic precipitation in parts of the country
Cereal prices have been mostly stable in recent months, but still significantly above previous year’s levels
About 115 000 people in need of urgent assistance for food
Above-average harvest gathered in 2015
Planting of the 2016 main maize crop is expected to start in the weeks ahead in the southern part of the country where farmers are currently preparing their fields. Planting will progress northwards with the onset of the rains.
Harvesting of the 2015 second season maize crop was completed in January in the South. In the North, which has only one rainy season, harvesting of coarse grains was completed in November last year. The start of the rainy season was delayed in several parts of the country and cumulated precipitation was below the 2014 level, with negative impact on planted areas and crop yields. Preliminary estimates indicate that cereal production declined by about 5 percent in 2015, over the previous year’s harvest, to 1.6 million tonnes. However, this level of production is about 5 percent above the average of the previous five years. Production of maize, the main staple cereal, was estimated at about 1.26 million tonnes, 5 percent below the 2014 production.
Cereal prices remained mostly stable in recent months but higher than year-earlier levels
Prices of maize, the main staple food, have followed an upward trend throughout 2015. Although they have remained mostly stable in the last few months, prices are still significantly higher than a year earlier. Maize prices on Cotonou markets in February 2016 were 53 percent higher than in February 2015.
The number of people in need of food assistance is forecast to increase in marketing year 2015/16, reflecting the impact of last year’s dry spells on agricultural production. About 114 998 people, located mostly in the northern part of the country, are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above and require food assistance, compared to 51 000 in 2015, according to the last Cadre Harmonisé analysis conducted in the country.