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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 29-May-2019


  1. Favourable rainfall conditions are allowing timely start of 2019 cropping season in the south

  2. Above-average cereal output gathered in 2018

  3. Prices of coarse grains generally decline as a result of good availabilities

  4. Strong economic growth and declining food price inflation

  5. Civil insecurity maintains the need of food assistance for vulnerable people

Timely start of cereal planting in the south

Planting of the 2019 maize, millet and sorghum crops started on time in May in the southern part of the country. Adequate rainfall amounts since early May resulted in favourable moisture conditions for crop development in recently planted areas. In northern cropping areas, the season is yet to start and the activities are limited to land preparation and early planting of rice.

Above‑average cereal output estimated in 2018

The continuing support by Government and partners in terms of agricultural inputs and generally adequate rainfall in 2018 benefitted crop development in most parts of the country. The country’s aggregate cereal output in 2018 is estimated at 10.1 million tonnes, about 9 percent higher than the 2017 output and 26 percent above the five‑year average. Major year‑on‑year production increases have been registered for millet 23 percent and rice 17 percent higher than the 2017 harvest.

Despite the above‑average 2018 production, import requirements for the 2018/19 (November/October) marketing year are set at average 2 million tonnes due to higher demand from traders to replenish stocks.

Coarse grain prices remain lower than last year in most markets

Despite the seasonal decrease in food availability and disruptions in some markets due to insecurity, the overall supply of cereals in most markets remains adequate. Prices of local rice, sorghum and millet were stable or began to increase in April due to the seasonal tightening of supplies and stronger household demand for human consumption and seeds. However, good domestic availabilities from the 2018 harvests and imports contributed to maintain prices below their year‑earlier levels.

Strong economic growth projected, food price inflation decreasing

According to the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), the economic growth is forecast to remain strong at about 4.7 percent in 2019, due to high public expenditures and the rise in the mining and agricultural sectors. Food inflation is minimal, averaging 1.20 percent from 2012 until 2019, reflecting stable domestic food prices. Inflation will overall remain well below the UEMOA (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine) convergence rate of 3 percent.

Civil insecurity maintains the need of food assistance for vulnerable people

Food security conditions are overall satisfactory for the majority of households due to adequate food availability and access. However, some displaced households in central and northern parts of the country are facing a deterioration of their livelihoods due to civil insecurity. As of April 2019, the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) identified over 73 000 people that have been displaced in central and northern parts of the country. In addition, the country hosts approximately 26 000 refugees.

According to the March 2018 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 333 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance from March to May 2019, with a decrease from 387 000 food insecure people from March to May 2018 . The number is expected to increase to 549 000 people at the peak of the lean season, during the June to August period, if no mitigation actions are taken.

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.