Reference Date: 29-July-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Adequate rains so far have facilitated plantings and crop development in most regions
Millet prices up on previous year
Humanitarian assistance continues to be needed, including for Nigerian and Malian refugees
Good rains since beginning of cropping season provided adequate soil moisture reserves
Rainfall has been adequate since the start of the growing season, allowing land preparation and plantings to progress. Cumulative rainfall as of early July was above average in 60 percent of the meteorological stations, and 91 percent of villages had finished their plantings by the first dekad of July, compared to about 68 percent last year.
Crops are emerging and already tillering/leafing in several regions. Pastures have improved significantly in the main agro-pastoral and pastoral zones.
An above-average crop was gathered in 2015. The aggregate cereals production in 2015 was estimated at some 5.4 million tonnes about 11 percent above the 2014 output and 14 percent above the average of the previous five years. Production of millet, the most important staple crop, increased slightly by 3 percent compared to 2014.
Cereal prices showed seasonal increases in most markets
The 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 until April 2016. However, cereal prices showed seasonal increases in most markets in May and June. As a result, millet prices in Niamey in July 2016 were 14 percent above their year-earlier levels.
Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people, including refugees
The 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 north eastern Nigeria. Over 114 000 people are estimated to have left Nigeria for the Diffa Region of the Niger; while an additional 60 000 Malian refugees are still living in the Niger. The refugee crisis has exacerbated an already fragile food situation. The 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.