Reference Date: 07-February-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Preliminary estimates indicate above-average cereal production in 2013, despite erratic precipitation in parts of the country
Generally stable cereal prices from August 2013 following large increase in preceding months
Despite erratic rains in parts, another good cereal crop was gathered in 2013
Harvesting of the 2013 second season maize crop is nearly complete in the South. In the North, which has only one rainy season, harvesting of coarse grains was completed in November. In spite of erratic precipitation in parts of the country, preliminary estimates indicate that cereal production expanded by 13 percent in 2013, over previous year’s level, to 1.7 million tonnes. Production of maize, the main staple cereal, was estimated at a record 1.4 million tonnes.
A good crop was already gathered in 2012. The 2012 cereal output was estimated at about 1.5 million tonnes, similar to the previous year’s good crop. This level of production was 12 percent above the average of the previous five years. The improvement was also driven by a significant growth in rice production which increased by 75 percent over the previous two years.
Coarse grains prices stabilised from October following steep rises in early 2013
Maize prices have been mostly stable since October 2013 following the large increase recorded in preceding months. Cereal prices increased steeply last year (in spite of the bumper crop gathered in 2012), due to reduced imports from neighbouring Nigeria and increased cross‑border export to Niger. Cereal markets have been disrupted in Nigeria due to insecurity and reduced supplies from the 2012 flood‑affected crop, limiting exports to neighbouring countries. However, the beginning of the harvesting season in August has pushed prices down across the subregion. Maize prices declined in Benin by up to 40 percent between July and September 2013, and have remained mostly stable since then. Prices of imported rice, mainly consumed in urban centres, remained stable across the country in recent months, in line with trends in international markets.