Reference Date: 09-March-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable rains and Government support contributed to improved 2015 harvest
Improved food security situation anticipated in marketing year 2015/16 (November/October)
Above-average cereal production gathered in 2015
Harvesting of maize and millet, the major grains produced in the country, was completed in November 2015, while the rice harvest was completed in January 2016. Favourable weather conditions and enhanced Government support to the agricultural sector have contributed to a significant increase in cereal production in 2015. Preliminary estimates put the 2015 aggregate cereal production at about 2.27 million tonnes, 82 percent above the previous year’s output and 65 percent above‑average. Production of millet, the most important staple crop, increased by 83 percent, while production of groundnuts, the main cash crop for farmers, increased by 68 percent compared to the 2014 output. The good precipitation levels also improved pasture conditions throughout the country.
A reduced crop was gathered in 2014 due to irregular rains throughout the cropping season. The aggregate 2014 cereal production was estimated at about 1.2 million tonnes, similar to the previous year’s harvest, but a 9 percent drop relative to the five‑year average. Moreover, the erratic rains caused the depletion of grazing resources and lowered water points’ level in the major pastoral areas of the country.
Food security improved significantly since September 2015
A large segment of the Senegalese population relies on traditional agriculture and livestock‑related activities to maintain their livelihoods, and, therefore, remain in a state of chronic vulnerability due to unpredictable seasonal rains and climatic conditions. Moreover, the high import dependency rate for food exposes the population to fluctuations of the global market.
The bumper harvest gathered in 2015 has significantly improved the fragile food security situation. According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis conducted in the country, about 37 500 people were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above between October and December 2015, compared to over 1 million during June‑August 2015.