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  Mauritania

Reference Date: 5-August-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Timely start of 2019 planting season

  2. Record cereal harvest gathered in 2018

  3. Food insecurity rises in agro‑pastoral zones

Favourable moisture conditions allow timely planting of 2019 crops

Rains started between late June and early July allowing for a timely start of the 2019 cropping season. Abundant rains benefitted planting activities and germination as well as the establishment of long‑cycle crops, including maize, sorghum and millet, to be harvested from October. Planting operations are expected to be completed by the end of August. Land preparation and planting of the flood recession “Walo” crops low lying area crops and off‑season rice, to be harvested from March 2020, are expected to start in October 2019.

Seasonal rains increased water and pasture availability, improving livestock body conditions and enhancing animal market value in most parts of the country. Despite the favourable rainfall, the situation remained precarious in the districts of Assaba, Brakna, Gorgol, Inchiri and Tagant due to the residual effects of an early start of the pastoral lean season in February‑March caused by a poor performance of rains during July and August 2018 and a faster‑than‑normal depletion of rangeland resources. This is worsening animal‑to‑cereal terms of trade for pastoralists, limiting their food access. However, the situation is expected to improve in September with the complete regeneration of natural pasture.

Record cereal harvest gathered in 2018

In southern cereal producing areas, rainfall amounts were average during the 2018 cropping season, benefitting crop growth and development. In addition, the Government continuing support to farmers through subsidized and timely delivery of inputs contributed to enhance the 2018 crop production that is estimated at record of 409 000 tonnes, over 20 percent above the average of the last five years. Major year‑on‑year production increases were registered for maize and sorghum.

Imports account for two-thirds of the national cereal utilization in the country. Import requirements for the 2018/19 (November/October) marketing year, mainly wheat, are forecast at near‑average of 570 000 tonnes.

Food insecurity rises in agro‑pastoral zones

Food insecurity rises among agro‑pastoral households whose livelihoods were affected by recurrent shocks during last years, with significant deterioration of terms of trade (cereals/livestock). According to the March 2019 ‘’Cadre Harmonisé’’ analysis, about 610 000 people (7 percent of the total population) were estimated to be food insecure between June and August 2019 compared to 540 000 people in June‑August 2018.

As of June 2019, according to the UNHCR, over 58 000 refugees are present in the country, mostly from northern Mali due to the persisting civil conflict. Most of the refugees are heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance following the severe disruption of their livelihoods.

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.