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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 02-August-2018


  1. Favourable moisture conditions allow timely planting of 2018 crops

  2. Above average production recorded in 2017

  3. Cereal prices stable or declining in recent months

  4. Humanitarian assistance needed for vulnerable people

Timely start of 2018 planting season

Planting of the 2018 coarse grains crops (maize, millet and sorghum), to be harvested from September, started on time in June in the southern and western parts of the country and continued in the northern cropping areas where it is about to finalize. Planting of rice, to be harvested from November, is expected to be completed by end-August. Land preparation and planting operations for groundnuts, the major cash crop produced in the country, are ongoing and the harvest will start in November. The cumulative rainfall amounts since June resulted in favourable moisture conditions for crop growth in the country.

Favourable rains have improved pasture supply and quality, allowing animals to maintain good body conditions and enhance their market value. No major disease outbreaks have been recorded yet. As a result, the animal health situation is relatively satisfactory.

Above-average cereal production gathered in 2017

Favourable weather conditions and Government support to the agricultural sector in 2017 have contributed to obtain a bumper cereal output for the third consecutive year. The 2017 national cereal production was estimated at 2.5 million tonnes, about 18 percent above the previous year’s good output and about 52 percent above the last five-year average. Major increases were observed in millet and maize production.

Imports account for almost half of the country’s total domestic cereal requirements. On average, the country imports about 1.8 million tonnes of cereals, including about 1.2 million tonnes of rice and about 500 000 tonnes of wheat. Following an above-average harvest, the import requirements for the 2017/18 marketing year (November/October) are set at average 1.9 million tonnes, with a decrease of about 16 percent compared to the previous year.

Stable cereal prices with some declining trends

Prices of coarse grains remained generally stable in May due to sufficient level of supply and normal demand. Since mid-June, production of off-season local rice crops strengthened market availability in the producing areas. Millet and imported rice were showing some declining trends between May and April 2018 in Dakar.

Food security situation mostly stable although pockets of food insecurity remain

According to the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), the economy grew at about 6.8 percent in 2017 and is expected to remain stable in 2018 due to higher private investment, particularly in the sectors of oil, energy, transport infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, textiles and information technology. In 2018, the food price inflation year-on-year is forecast at 1.4 percent, up from 1.3 percent reported in 2017, due to higher global oil and food prices.

Despite three consecutive years of above-average harvests, pockets of food insecurity remain. According to the March 2018 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 320 000 people were estimated to be food insecure in March to May 2018 compared to 315 000 in October-December 2017. This number is expected to increase to 750 000 during the lean season between June and August 2018 if no mitigation actions are taken.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.