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Country Briefs

  Benin

Reference Date: 26-September-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Prospects points to above-average harvest in 2019

  2. Prices of coarse grains remained overall stable in July

  3. Pockets of food insecurity persist in country

Prospects point to above-average harvest in 2019

In the south, harvesting of the 2019 main season maize and rice crops are underway and will be completed by end‑September, while millet and sorghum crops are at grain setting or maturity stages in the rest of the country. Planting operations for second season maize crops, to be harvested from December, are underway. The rainy season has been characterized by a timely onset in February/March and above‑average rainfall amounts, improving vegetation conditions and lifting production prospects. Rains continued into mid‑August, allowing late‑planted crops to fully mature.

The favourable weather conditions in 2019 resulted in an average cereal crop production forecast of 1.9 million tonnes, 7.9 percent below the bumper 2018 output, but similar to the average of the previous five years. The rice output is estimated at below average 285 000 tonnes due to flooding during July and August.

Cereal import requirements for the 2019/20 (November/October) marketing year are forecast at above average 500 000 tonnes as traders aim at replenishing their stocks.

Grazing conditions and availability of water for livestock have improved by early September compared to previous months, ending the pastoral lean season in the main natural reserves of the country. The animal health situation is generally stable, apart from some localized outbreaks of seasonal diseases.

Stable food prices due to increased supply

Despite the peak of the lean season (July-August), prices of coarse grains remained overall stable across most of the country as a result of well supplied markets. In September, the newly‑harvested maize, rice and tubers in the southern areas are increasing market supplies compared to the previous months. As a result, prices are expected to decline with the generalization of the harvests in October following their normal seasonal trends.

Pockets of food insecurity persist in country

Despite overall favourable food security conditions, some vulnerable households need external food assistance. According to the March 2019 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 20 000 people (less than 2 percent of the population) are estimated to be in need of food assistance from June to August 2019, down from the 31 000 food insecure people in June-August 2018.

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