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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 14-November-2016


  1. Prospects favourable for 2016 cereal harvests due to adequate rainfall during cropping season

  2. Significant downward pressure on coarse grain prices due to increased supplies from first season crop harvests

  3. About 77 000 people in need of urgent assistance for food

Overall prospects favourable for 2016 food crops production

Harvesting of coarse grains is underway in the northern part of the country, which has only one rainy season. In the South, harvesting of the 2016 second season maize crop is about to start. Overall, harvest prospects are good following well-distributed rains in time and space during planting and subsequent favourable precipitation in most parts of the country. An above-average 2016 production of cereal and roots and tubers is forecast.

Last year, cereal production declined by about 5 percent over the previous year’s harvest to 1.6 million tonnes. This level of production was about 6 percent above the average of the previous five years. Production of maize, the main staple cereal, was estimated at about 1.29 million tonnes, 5 percent below the 2014 production.

Maize prices on the decline, reflecting increased supplies

Harvesting of the 2016 first season crops has put significant downward pressure on prices in most monitored markets. For example, prices of maize, the main staple food, dropped by 50 percent between June and August in Cotonou and Abomey markets.

About 77 000 people, located mostly in the northern part of the country, were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above between June and August, compared to 51 000 in 2015, according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis conducted in the country. The significant increase in the number of food insecure people was driven mostly by the impact of last year’s dry spells on crop production in the north.