Reference Date: 04-November-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production is forecast to increase in 2014 in spite of erratic rains at the beginning of cropping season.
Cereal prices have remained mostly stable in recent months.
Humanitarian assistance is still needed despite improved civil security situation
Cereal production is forecast to increase in 2014
Harvesting of the 2014 cereal crops is about to conclude. Most parts of the country witnessed erratic and below-average rains until mid-July that resulted in replanting in some areas. However, precipitation improved significantly since the last dekad of July over the main producing areas, thus replenishing water reserves, providing relief to stressed crops and improving crop prospects in most parts of the several countries. Satellite imagery analysis indicated that crops continued to benefit from adequate rains through October. As a result, the National Agricultural Statistics Service has forecasted an above‑average harvest for this year.
Agricultural production hampered by civil strife in recent years
Agriculture has been seriously damaged in recent years in parts of the country due to the civil strife. Labour shortages due to population displacements, lack of agricultural support services in the northern half, fragmentation of the markets and other difficulties related to civil security have had serious negative impact on agricultural production and food markets. These problems have been exacerbated in 2013 by erratic rains and extended dry spells throughout the growing season, which caused a reduction in planted area and affected yields.
The 2013 aggregate cereal production was officially estimated at some 5.7 million tonnes, about 14 percent lower than the 2012 output but close to the average of the previous five years. The drop in cereal production was driven mostly by a steep contraction in coarse grains output. Production of millet, the most important staple, has declined by 35 percent. By contrast, 2013 rice production was 15 percent higher than the 2012 output.
Cereal prices have remained mostly stable in recent months in spite of last year’s decline in production. The stable food prices are supported by ample regional supplies following above-average harvests in Mali’s neighbouring countries, including Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
Continued assistance is still needed for vulnerable people
The lingering effects of the 2012 food crisis combined with the disruptions caused by the recent civil strife have had very adverse, longer-term impact on household assets and savings, notably in the northern part of the country. Several segments of the population still need food and non-food assistance to restore their livelihoods and enable them to have better access to food. Over 1.9 million people, located mostly in the northern part of the country, are estimated to be in Phase 3 (Crisis) and above during the lean season from June-August, according to the last Cadre Harmonisé analysis conducted in March.
The United Nations and humanitarian partners launched a three-year Regional Strategic Response Plan (RSRP) earlier this year to provide aid to millions of people in nine countries of the Sahel belt. The country plan for Mali is seeking to mobilize USD 569 million to provide food and non-food assistance to over 4 million people located mostly in the northern part of the country.