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Country Briefs

  Gambia

Reference Date: 14-November-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Favourable prospects for 2016 cereal harvests

  2. Humanitarian assistance continues to be needed

Cereal crops benefitted from favourable growing conditions

Harvesting of the 2016 cereal crops is underway across the country. Growing conditions for cereal crops and pastures have been adequate in most parts of the country and overall, crop prospects are favourable.

An above-average crop was already gathered in 2015, following the 2014 drought-reduced output. Aggregate cereal production in 2015 was estimated at about 239 000 tonnes, 37 percent higher than the 2014 harvest and 9 percent above the five‑year average. Production of groundnuts, the main cash crop, is estimated to have increased by about 13 percent compared to the previous year’s crop.

Access to food constrained by high prices of imported food commodities

The Gambia, in a normal year, relies on imports for nearly half of its cereal consumption requirements (mostly rice and wheat) and domestic cereal prices are strongly affected by world prices and the exchange rate of the Dalasi (GMD), the national currency. The Dalasi has depreciated significantly over the past few years, which has put an upward pressure on domestic prices of imported food commodities. As a result, access to food continues to be difficult for several segments of the population.

Continued assistance still needed, especially for vulnerable people

The combined effects of the recent Sahel food crises, localized heavy flooding in 2012 and 2013, and drought in 2014, have eroded vulnerable households’ coping mechanisms and resulted in protracted food insecurity in pockets of the country and persisting acute malnutrition.

About 96 280 people were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above between June and August, according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis conducted in the country. Child malnutrition is also a cause of concern. Chronic malnutrition ranges between 13.9 and 30.7 percent with the North Bank Region and the Central River Region surpassing the ’critical’ threshold of 30 percent.