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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 21-July-2016


  1. Adequate rains so far have facilitated crop development in most regions

  2. Coarse grain prices increased seasonably in June but remain lower than their year‑earlier levels

  3. Humanitarian assistance still needed despite improved civil security situation

Early prospects favourable for 2016 cropping season

Precipitation has been generally widespread since the beginning of the cropping season and cumulative rainfall as of early July was above average in most regions, according to satellite images. In the first dekad of June, the northeast of the Sikasso region experienced some short dry spells; however, it has since normalized. Planting of millet, sorghum and rainfed rice is well underway; crops are emerging in the south where pastures have improved significantly.

A record cereal output was gathered in 2015 following beneficial rains from July over the main producing areas of the country. The 2015 aggregate cereals production was estimated at some 8 million tonnes, about 16 percent higher than the 2014 bumper crop and 28 percent above the average of the previous five years. Production of millet, the most important staple, increased by 9 percent, while rice production increased by 8 percent to about 2.3 million tonnes. Pastoral conditions were also satisfactory. The filling levels of most water points were adequate and animals remained in good condition.

A bumper crop was already gathered last year. The 2014 output was officially estimated at some 6.98 million tonnes, about 22 percent higher than the 2012 drought‑affected output and 13 percent above the average of the previous five years. The increase in cereal production was driven mostly by good rainfall conditions, the larger planted area (17 percent increase), the use of selected seeds and the exploitation of new rice lands.

Coarse grain prices showed seasonal increases in June in most markets

In recent months, cereal prices were mostly unchanged reflecting good availabilities from the 2015 harvests. However, prices showed seasonal increases in most markets in June. In Bamako, prices of sorghum increased by 7 percent, while millet prices increased by about 9 percent compared to May. However, prices have remained generally lower than their year‑earlier levels.

Livestock prices were above average and are expected to remain high due to the good conditions of the livestock as well as the relatively strong demand from neighbouring countries.

Agricultural production hampered by persisting 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 a serious negative impact on agricultural production and food markets. According to OCHA, as of June 2016, there are an estimated 37 000 internally‑displaced people in Mali mostly residing in Timbuktu, the most affected region.

Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people

The lingering effects of the crisis combined with the disruptions caused by the recent civil strife have had a 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. About 115 000 people located mostly in Timbuktu, Mopti and Sikasso regions, are estimated to be in Phase: 3 “Crisis” and above, according to the November 2015 Cadre Harmonisé analysis conducted in the country.