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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 06-May-2020


  1. Timely start of 2020 cropping season

  2. Above‑average cereal production harvested in 2019

  3. Increasing cereal import requirements in 2019/20 marketing year (November/October)

  4. Food assistance needed for vulnerable households

Timely start of th 2020 cropping season

Following a timely onset of the seasonal rains in late April, planting operations for maize, millet and sorghum are ongoing and the harvests are expected to start in September 2020. Since the start of the season, adequate rainfall amounts supported soil moisture content for crop development. In most areas, crops are at sprouting and seedling stages, and weeding activities are regularly underway. Planting of rice, the major cereal crop produced in the country, is expected to start in June.

In late April 2020, the Forum of the Agro‑Hydro‑Climatic Seasonal Forecast in Sudano‑Sahelian Africa (PRESASS) released its forecast for the whole rainy season (June/October) across the Sahel and Soudanian zones. The forecast points to above‑average rainfall amounts which will continue until October. If this forecast materializes, it will contribute to favourable agricultural production and availability of pasture and water as well as good pastoral conditions.

The conditions of natural pasture coverage are satisfactory and rains are benefiting the development of newly germinated pasture. Due to the abundance and diversification of biomass, the animal body condition is satisfactory. The health situation remains overall good and stable.

Above‑average cereal production harvested in 2019

Harvesting of the 2019 major crops, including rice, was completed last December. The 2019 agricultural season was characterized by some localized flooding in July‑August 2019 in Gabu Region (Sintchã Benfica, Fulamansa, Camadjaba, Lenquero and in the military cooperative Bidinga Na Nhasse) and by Fall Armyworm attacks on maize, millet and sorghum crops across the country. The 2019 aggregate national cereal production is estimated at 240 000 tonnes, about 17 percent above the five‑year average.

Increasing cereal import requirements in 2019/20 marketing year (November/October)

Over 45 percent of the national cereal utilization in the country is covered by imports. Rice accounts for about 80 percent of the import requirements, followed by wheat, which accounts for about 15 percent. Import requirements in the 2019/20 marketing year (November/October) are forecast at an above‑average level of 170 000 tonnes as local traders are aiming to replenish their stocks.

Food assistance needed for vulnerable households

The overall food security situation remains stable and favourable across the country. However, continued assistance is needed for the most vulnerable population. According to the March 2020 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 68 000 people (5 percent of the population analyzed) are estimated to be in need of food assistance up to August 2020, with a substantial increase from the 5 000 food insecure people in June‑August 2019. The main drivers of the food insecurity are the effects of adverse weather events (flooding) and Fall Armyworm attacks on maize, millet and sorghum crops. across the country.

COVID-19 and measures adopted by the Government

In view of the evolving COVID‑19 situation, the Government has decreed a land border closure and a sanitary state of emergency extended until 14 May 2020. The Government has taken some sanitary, social and economic measures. Mandatory restrictions on population movements, combined with heightened levels of fear, have led many people to remain at home. Although these measures have not affected the access to food, further restrictions on population movements could hamper access to land and have a negative impact on the 2020 agricultural production.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.