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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 30-October-2017


  1. Despite late start to the season in some areas, abundant recent rains improved crop yields in most parts of the country

  2. In 2016, record crop gathered for third consecutive year

  3. Coarse grain prices increasing in recent months driven mostly by persistent insecurity

  4. Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people

Harvest prospects favourable for 2017 cereal crops

Harvesting of maize, millet and sorghum is underway and will be completed by the end of November. Rainfed rice is at the vegetative stage, whereas sowing of irrigated rice started in early October. The rainy season had a slow start in parts of Sikasso, Kadiolo, Koro, Bankass and Niono, but satisfactory rainfall in ensuing months resulted in cumulative precipitation on par with last year’s abundant level. Latest satellite data images show favourable crop conditions in most cropping areas as reported by the FAO Agricultural Stress Index (see ASI map).

Although Fall Armyworm attacks have been reported on maize, sorghum and millet crops in parts of Kayes, Koulikoro and Sikasso regions, the aggregate 2017 production is estimated at 9 million tonnes, similar to last year’s bumper levels.

Coarse grain prices increasing in most markets due to persistent insecurity

Despite the bumper harvest in 2016, prices of millet and sorghum have been on the rise since April/May and remained at levels well above those a year earlier, as persistent insecurity, especially in the central and northern part of the country, continued to disrupt traditional supply routes.

Although some declines in prices were reported in the north of the country due to the free distribution of grains by the Commissary for Food Security in September 2017, prices of sorghum in Kayes were still about 56 percent higher than their year earlier levels. Prices of millet in Bamako were about 37 percent higher than in the previous year.

Rainfall accumulated over the recent months has contributed to the regeneration of pastures in most parts of the country. Although seasonal declines in biomass production due to drying of plants has been observed at the beginning of October, livestock are in fairly good condition and cattle markets are kept in good supply.

Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people

In spite of three consecutive years of bumper harvests and overall favourable prospects for the 2017 output, the recent civil strife has had adverse long-term impact on households. Labour shortages due to population displacements, lack of agricultural support services in the northern half of the country, fragmentation of the markets and other difficulties related to civil security have had a serious negative impact on agricultural production and food markets, affecting the most vulnerable population in the country. The latest “Cadre Harmonisé” (Harmonized Framework) analysis conducted in the country estimated that about 601 000 people, located mostly in Timbuktu, Mopti and Bamako regions were in IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and above between June and August 2017. Moreover, UNHCR reported that, at end-August 2017, there were an estimated 55 900 internally‑displaced people in Mali.

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.