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Country Briefs

  Benin

Reference Date: 05-April-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Above-average 2016 cereal harvests due to favourable rainfall during the cropping season

  2. Food prices are mostly stable, reflecting increased supplies from recent harvests

  3. About 22 000 people in need of urgent assistance for food

Above-average harvest gathered in 2016

Planting of the 2017 main maize crop is expected to start soon in the southern part of the country where farmers have finalized land preparation. Planting will progress northwards with the onset of the rains. Harvesting of the 2016 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 2016 cropping season was characterized by well-distributed rains in time and space in most parts of the country. According to preliminary reports, the 2016 aggregate cereal production is estimated at about 1.8 million tonnes, 9 percent above the previous year’s output and almost 11 percent above the five-year average. Production of maize, the main staple cereal, is estimated at about 1.39 million tonnes, 8 percent below the 2015 production.

Maize prices declined significantly, reflecting increased supplies

The 2016 good harvests had put significant downward pressure on prices in most monitored markets between June and September. For example, prices of maize, the main staple food, dropped by 50 percent between June and September 2016 in Cotonou and Abomey markets. Although prices recovered substantially during the last quarter of 2016, they were still well below their year-earlier levels in December.

About 22 000 people, located mostly in the northern part of the country, are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above between March and May 2017, according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis conducted in the country. This represents a notable improvement compared to last year. The significant decrease in the number of food insecure people was driven mostly by the well-distributed rainfall and increased food supplies in most parts of the country.