Reference Date: 17-October-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
A below-average cereal harvest is anticipated this year
Coarse grain prices have remained at relatively high levels
A reduced crop expected in 2013
The 2013 coarse grains harvest is underway, while harvesting of rice is expected to begin in November. Following last year’s bumper crop, a reduced harvest is anticipated this year. Delayed rains and prolonged dry spells have affected 2013 crop production in several parts of the country, notably in the centre and the north. The most affected regions include Louga, Matam, Diourbel, Kaffrine and Fatick.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service has forecasted a below-average harvest for this year.
In 2012, an above-average harvest was gathered owing to favourable climatic conditions and enhanced government support to the agricultural sector, through the provision of seeds and fertilizers. Aggregate 2012 cereal production was estimated at about 1.67 million tonnes, about 52 percent up on 2011 drought-affected harvest, and a 15 percent increase relative to the five-year average. The rice harvest, estimated at about 627 000 tonnes, was the largest ever recorded. In addition, production of groundnuts, the main cash crop for farmers, increased by 31 percent compared to 2011 output.
Cereal prices exhibit mixed trends
In spite of the good crop gathered last year, coarse grains prices have remained relatively higher. Millet prices in August 2013 in Dakar were 6 percent higher than last year’s crisis affected levels. Higher prices are also reported in cereal producing regions such as Fatick and Kolda. By contrast, prices of imported rice have remained relatively stable in recent months. Rice prices increased steeply in the country from December 2011, but Government intervention in the form of price control has kept prices stable since April 2012.
Senegal still relies heavily on rice imports from the international market to meet its food requirements. Domestic production covers only about half of the country’s cereal utilization requirements, so its rice imports amount to an average of about 900 000 tonnes per annum.