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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 18-June-2018


  1. Planting of cereal crops on progress under favourable conditions

  2. Cereal production in 2017 estimated at above average level

  3. Overall food supply situation satisfactory following 2016 good harvests

Cropping season in 2018 started in south

Following the onset of seasonal rains, planting of maize and yams in the south started on time in February/March. Rice, for harvest in September, was planted in April. Weeding activities are normally progressing in southern parts of the country. Although, dry conditions continue to prevail in most parts of the North, land preparation and early planting of millet and sorghum, for harvest from October, are already taking place.

Above-average 2017 cereal crop harvested

The normal development of the 2017 cropping season and the provision of inputs by the Government in the form of subsidized fertilizers and increased technical support for large-scale farming resulted in generally satisfactory and favourable conditions for crop production.

The overall cereal production is estimated at about 3.1 million tonnes, which is 13 percent above the level of both the 2016 harvest and the five-year average. Compared to previous year, maize output increased by about 15 percent, while sorghum increased by 20 percent. Most farming households benefited from higher income due to increased opportunities for casual labour and/or larger sales of agricultural surpluses.

Food prices declined following main season harvests

The grain supply on the local markets reflects seasonality. Imports of rice from the international market are continuing unhindered, thus reinforcing existing supplies of local cereals and other foodstuffs. Prices remained broadly stable between April and May 2018, with slight increases of no more than 10 percent following the normal seasonal pattern. This price stability facilitates the food access for the poor and market-dependent households. However, significant price increases of more than 25 percent were observed for sorghum and rice in Bolgatanga market in April 2018 compared to April 2017 due strong demand from households.

Food assistance needed for vulnerable people

Food security conditions remain favourable with well-supplied markets, stable prices of rice and normal labour opportunities. The pursuit of economic activities, such as petty trade, provides adequate income that allows for the market purchases of rice and other basic food throughout the lean season, expected to end in late August. However, according to the March 2018 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 99 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance during March to May 2018. This number is projected to increase to 150 000 from June to August during the peak of the lean season.

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