GIEWS Country Briefs

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Reference Date: 16-February-2015


  1. Preliminary estimates for 2014 harvest point to an above-average cereal production

  2. Cereal prices are on decline, reflecting adequate supplies

  3. Humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in northern parts, as a result of continuing civil conflict

Adequate rains in 2014 resulted in good cereal production

Harvesting of the 2014 cereal crops was completed in January 2015. Favourable rains benefited crop development in the major producing states of the country. Although civil insecurity led to significant population displacement, disrupting farming activities in Borno, Yobe and part of Adamawa State, preliminary estimates point to an above-average 2014 cereal production. FAO tentatively forecasts the country’s cereal output in 2014 at about 24.4 million tonnes, 12 percent above the previous five-year average.

An above average production was already gathered in 2013. The 2013 aggregate cereal production was estimated at some 23 million tonnes, an increase of 10 percent over the 2012 floods-affected output.

Good supplies from the new 2014 harvest have resulted in significant price declines for coarse grains. In the main northern Kano market, maize prices dropped by 20 percent between September and December 2014.

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. For example, the mandatory inclusion of 10 percent of cassava flour in bread was implemented as of 2012, with the rate of substitution expected to reach 40 percent by 2015. ATA also aims to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice by 2015, when imports will be banned. To that end, rice import duties on imported polished and milled rice have increased dramatically to 40 and 110 percent, respectively. The high rice import tariffs in Nigeria have amplified informal cross-border imports from neighbouring coastal countries. Input availability and access were also supported in the framework of the ATA.

In spite of these measures, Nigeria remains a food-deficit country with cereal imports (mostly rice and wheat), forecast to exceed 7.5 million tonnes in 2015. The country is still the largest rice importer in Africa.

Deteriorating food security situation in North and neighbouring countries

Following the escalating civil insecurity and conflict in northern Nigeria, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate resulting in an increasing number of refugees in neighbouring countries. There are over 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the six states of the Northeast, while several other thousands have sought refuge in neighbouring countries (Cameroon, Chad and Niger). Over 100 000 people are estimated to have left Nigeria for the Diffa region of Niger while about 80 000 people have taken refuge in northern Cameroun, as of early February. An additional 17 000 Nigerians fled to Chad over the past few weeks and the rate of population displacement is increasing according to OCHA. The escalating conflict has also disrupted commodity movements leading to higher price levels and volatility in parts. The crisis is also likely to affect crop production this year in several regions.

Relevant links:
 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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