Reference Date: 09-March-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Preliminary forecast for 2015 harvest points to average cereal production
Pastures and livestock conditions generally good in most parts of the country
Cereal prices stable reflecting adequate regional supplies
Humanitarian assistance continues to be needed, including for Nigerian and Malian refugees
Cereal production affected by irregular rains in 2015
Harvesting of the 2015 cereal crops was completed in November. Several parts of the country witnessed erratic and below‑average rains until July that resulted in replanting in some regions. Although precipitation improved significantly from the last dekad of July over the main producing areas, the erratic rains affected coarse grain yields in several parts of the southern producing regions. As a result, early forecasts point to an average cereal harvest in 2015, although official production estimates are not yet available.
An above‑average crop was gathered in 2014. The aggregate cereals production was estimated at some 4.8 million tonnes, about 14 percent higher than the 2013 output and 7 percent above the average of the previous five years. Production of millet, the most important staple crop, increased by 14 percent compared to 2013.
Cereal prices continued to remain stable in recent months
Niger is highly dependent on imports of coarse grains (millet, sorghum and maize) from its neighbours Nigeria and Benin to cover its cereal requirements. Reflecting ample regional supplies, cereal markets have been well‑supplied and prices remained mostly stable throughout 2015. The arrival of the new 2015 harvests put downward pressure on prices at the end of the year. Prices have been mostly stable in recent months. Both millet and sorghum prices in Niamey in January 2016 were similar to last year’s level.
Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people, including refugees
Niger hosts a large number of refugees due to the continuing civil conflict in neighbouring Mali and Nigeria. The influx of refugees increased dramatically over the past few months following the deterioration of the security situation in northeastern Nigeria. Over 100 000 people are estimated to have left Nigeria for the Diffa Region of Niger; while an additional 59 000 Malian refugees are still living in Niger. The refugee crisis has exacerbated an already fragile food situation. Niger has been struck by successive severe food crises in recent years that resulted in the depletion of household assets and high level of indebtedness. The food security situation has remained difficult in several parts of the country due to the lingering effects of the previous crises and the impact of recent years’ erratic rains on crops and pastures in some regions. 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 657 000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above, according to the last analysis of the Cadre Harmonisé (Harmonized Framework) conducted in the country.