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Reference Date: 25-April-2016


  1. Cropping season in 2016 started in South, while seasonably dry conditions still prevail in northern states

  2. Favourable rains in major producing regions led to increased crop production at national level in 2015

  3. Coarse grain prices increased steeply in January and February 2016

  4. Food security situation remains critical in northern parts, especially in Borno and Yobe, due to civil conflict

Cropping season in 2016 started in South

The onset of the 2016 rainy season in the south (March‑October) was marked by above average rains. Land preparation and maize planting are underway in southern states, while dry conditions are still present in the north, with the rainy season expected to begin in May.

Last year, adequate rains in major producing areas contributed to increased cereal production

Harvesting of the 2015 cereal crops was completed in January 2016. In spite of the late onset of the 2015 rainy season in the middle and northern parts of the country, above‑average and well‑distributed rainfall from mid‑July benefited crop development in the major producing states of the country. Although civil insecurity and population displacement continued to disrupt farming activities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, official estimates indicated an above‑average 2015 cereal production. FAO estimates the country’s cereal output in 2015 at about 24 million tonnes, close to the previous year’s level and 6 percent above average.

Coarse grain prices increased steeply after declining for several months

Coarse grain prices increased steeply in January and February in several markets, including the northern Kano market, after declining for several months. A recent sharp depreciation of the Naira on the parallel market, driven by reduced supplies of foreign exchange reserves, coupled with persisting civil conflict in northern Nigeria, contributed to the sharp food price increases.

High import dependency persists

In 2012, the Government launched the Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) to reduce the country’s reliance on food imports by increasing production of the five key crops, including rice, sorghum and cassava. A number of import substitution measures were introduced to support domestic production, including the mandatory inclusion of 10 percent of cassava flour in bread. Input availability and access were also supported in the framework of the ATA, which aims to make Nigeria self‑sufficient in rice. The Central Bank of Nigeria recently banned importers from accessing foreign exchange markets in 41 categories of items, including rice. The ban was partially lifted in October 2015, when imports through the land borders were once again allowed after the payment of appropriate duties and charges. However, these measures amplified informal cross‑border imports from neighbouring coastal countries resulting in the Nigerian Customs Service re‑introducing the policy to restrict rice imports through land borders as of 25 March 2016.

Nigeria remains a food deficit country with cereal imports (mostly rice and wheat) forecast to exceed 7 million tonnes in 2016. The country is still the largest rice importer in Africa.

Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people in Northeastern regions largely due to ongoing conflict and internal displacements

The continued conflict in the northern part of the country has resulted in widespread disruption in agricultural and marketing activities and has caused massive displacement. According to OCHA, about 2.2 million people have been internally displaced. In Borno, about 124 000 new Internally‑Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been discovered recently in the four difficult‑to‑reach local Government areas of Borno: Dikwa (52 000), Mongonu (35 000), Bama (27 000) and Damboa (9 500). In addition, over 100 000 people are estimated to have left Nigeria for Niger, nearly 70 000 people have taken refuge in Cameroon and about 14 000 in Chad. The conflict has disrupted commodity movements leading to higher price levels and volatility in parts of the northeast. About 3.4 million people, located mostly in Borno and Yobe, are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above, according to the last Cadre Harmonisé analysis conducted in the country.

Relevant links:
 As of Jun 2016, included in the list of "Countries Requiring External Assistance for Food"
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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