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Country Briefs

  Mali

Reference Date: 18-June-2018

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Planting of 2018 cereal crops started on time in southern parts under favourable conditions

  2. Slightly above-average harvest gathered in 2017

  3. Prices of coarse grains remained higher than last year due to strong demand from households and persistent civil insecurity in parts of the country

  4. Continued assistance needed for vulnerable people

Timely start of cereal planting in south

Planting of the 2018 coarse grain crops (maize, millet and sorghum), to be harvested from September, started on time in May in the southern part of the country and is expected to finish in July in the more northern cropping areas. The agricultural season is progressing normally, with steady accumulation of seasonal rainfall since early May 2018, which resulted in favourable moisture conditions for crop development in most recently-planted areas in the southern part of the country. In northern parts of the country, the season is just starting with land preparation and early planting of rice for harvesting from November.

Average harvest gathered in 2017 due to good weather conditions

The 2017 agricultural season was characterized by near-average rainfall. Despite an early stop of the rains at the end of the cropping season in September 2017, the national cereal production was estimated at 9.5 million tonnes, about 7 percent higher than the last season’s output and 27 percent above the five-year average. Compared to 2016, production of maize increased by 22 percent, while millet decreased by 11 percent.

The insufficient rainfall and the early cessation of the rains had a negative impact on pasture production and rearing conditions in all of Northern and Central regions including Kayes and Koulikoro. Pastoralists in these areas are highly vulnerable to the lack of pasture and watering opportunities as well as depressed prices for livestock products. The situation is unlikely to improve until the end of July unless steps are taken to alleviate the situation.

Despite the above-average cereal production in 2017 at about 540 000 tonnes, the cereal import requirements for 2017 are expected to remain similar to 2016 and about 10 percent above average.

Prices of coarse grains remain higher than last year in most markets

The supply of cereals in most markets remains regular and sufficient despite the seasonal decrease in availability. Prices of coarse grains in April 2018 were generally stable compared to the previous month following normal seasonal trends. However, compared to last year, prices remained higher due to localized production shortfalls, strong household demand to meet the needs for food consumption and seeds and persistent insecurity, especially in the central and northern parts of the country.

Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people

Localized decreases in production, persistent insecurity in parts of the country and inter-community conflicts that lead to population movements continue to affect negatively the food security situation. According to the March 2018 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 387 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance from March to May 2018, with a significant increase from the 290 000 food insecure people from October to December 2017. This number is expected to increase to 933 000 during the June to August period if no mitigation actions are taken.

As of March 2018, the country was also hosting approximately 20 000 refugees, 50 000 internal displaced people (IDP) and 64 000 returnees that depend mainly on humanitarian assistance. The number of IDPs has nearly doubled since December 2017 due to insecurity.

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