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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 20-April-2017


  1. Favourable rains and continued Government support contributed to bumper cereal output in 2016

  2. Cereal prices declining in recent months

  3. Improved food security situation anticipated in marketing year 2016/17 (November/October)

Above-average cereal production gathered in 2016

Seasonal dry conditions prevail in most parts of the country. Land preparation and planting of the 2017 cereal crops will begin with the arrival of the rains, usually from June.

Harvesting of maize and millet, the major coarse grains produced in the country, was completed in November 2016, while the rice harvest was concluded in January 2017. Favourable weather conditions and continued Government support to the agricultural sector have contributed to obtain a bumper cereal crop for the second year in a row. Official estimates put the 2016 aggregate cereal production at about 2.1 million tonnes, slightly down from the previous year’s record output, but about 46 percent above last five-year average. Maize output was 63 percent above the level of the previous five years. By contrast, production of millet, the most important staple crop, decreased by about 13 percent compared to the 2015 output, but was still 16 percent above average. The good precipitation levels also improved pasture conditions throughout the country.

A record crop was already gathered in 2015 following favourable rains and Government support. The 2015 aggregate cereals production was estimated at some 2.15 million tonnes, 72 percent above the previous year’s level and 56 percent above the average of the previous five years.

Cereal prices declining

Good supplies from the new 2016 harvest have resulted in price declines for coarse grains in recent months. However, prices in February 2017 were still above their year‑earlier levels. By contrast, prices of local and imported rice have remained mostly stable. Generally, domestic production covers about half of the country’s cereal utilization requirements. Therefore, Senegal continues to rely heavily on rice imports from the international market to meet its food requirements.

Food security situation mostly stable reflecting two consecutive years of bumper harvests

A large segment of the Senegalese population relies on traditional agriculture and livestock-related activities to maintain their livelihoods and, therefore, remains 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 in the global market.

The bumper harvests gathered over the last two years are expected to significantly improve the fragile food security situation. According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis conducted in the country, about 430 000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above.

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