Reference Date: 02-June-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production affected in 2013 by irregular rains and civil insecurity in the northern part of the country
Humanitarian assistance is still needed despite the improved civil security situation
Over 1.5 million people are estimated to be in need of food assistance
Seasonably dry conditions prevail in most parts of the country
Although early rains fell in the extreme South in May, allowing land preparation and first plantings to start, dry conditions continue to prevail over most of the country. Farmers are currently preparing their fields in most regions. Planting activities are expected to progressively move northwards with the onset of the rains in June. According to the first 2014 weather forecast carried out by the Agrhymet Centre and ACMAD, the western part of West Africa, including southern Mali, is likely to receive below-average rainfall between July and September this year
Agricultural production hampered by civil strife
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 official estimate puts the 2013 aggregate cereal production 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 1.5 million people, located mostly in the northern part of the country, are estimated to be in Phase 3 (Crisis) according to the last Cadre Harmonisé analysis conducted in March. The number of people in Phase 3 and above is forecast to rise to over 1.9 million during the lean season from June-August.
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.