Reference Date: 17-August-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Early crop prospects uncertain due to rainfall deficits in parts of the country
Improved food security situation anticipated in marketing year 2015/16 (November/October)
Crop prospects improved, reflecting increased rains in July
Following irregular and insufficient rains in most parts of the country at the beginning of the cropping season, precipitation increased significantly in July over the main producing areas, thus reconstituting soil water reserves and improving crop prospects. Satellite imagery for early August indicated that crops continued to benefit from good rains. However, as plantings were delayed and replanting carried out in several regions, crops and pastures will need rains late in the season to cover their entire growing cycle.
In 2015, favourable weather conditions and enhanced Government support to the agricultural sector contributed to a significant increase in cereal production. Official estimates put the 2015 aggregate cereal production at about 2.15 million tonnes, 72 percent above the previous year’s output and 56 percent above average. Production of millet, the most important staple crop, increased by 83 percent, while production of groundnuts, 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.