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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 03-May-2018


  1. Favourable rains and continued Government support contributed to obtain bumper cereal output in 2017

  2. Feed and water availability impacts livestock condition as dry season progresses

  3. Cereal prices stable or declining in recent months

  4. Food security situation mostly stable although pockets of food insecurity prevail

Above-average cereal production gathered in 2017

Seasonal dry conditions prevail in most parts of the country. Land preparation and planting of the 2018 cereal crops will begin with the arrival of the rains, usually from June.

Harvesting of the 2017 maize and millet crops, the major coarse grains produced in the country, was completed last November 2017, while the rice harvest was concluded in January 2018. Favourable weather conditions and continued Government support to the agricultural sector have contributed to obtain a bumper cereal crop for the third consecutive year. The 2014-2017 National Programme for Self-Sufficiency in Rice was designed to increase domestic rice production and reduce rice import requirements by providing subsidized seeds and fertilizers. Although the programme ended, the Government pledged to continue the provision of subsidized inputs also in the 2018/19 marketing year.

Official estimates put the 2017 aggregate cereal production at about 2.5 million tonnes, about 18 percent above the previous year’s already record output and over 35 percent above the last five-year average. Although the cereal planted in 2017 increased by only about 2.5 percent compared to the previous year, average yields of millet, maize and sorghum rose by 34, 21 and 12 percent, respectively.

Feed and water availability impacts livestock condition as dry season progresses

Substantial rainfall deficits were observed during the 2017 rainy season. With the progress of the ongoing dry season, as of March 2018, 19 out of the 42 departments reported feed stock deficits, leading to livestock degradation and mortalities. While pasture remains locally available in the southern regions of Senegal, grazing is affected by bush fires (so far about 14 000 hectares burnt) and increased competition on pastures by animals from Mauritania. As a result, livestock prices have fallen sharply in various markets, recording a 20-35 percent drop compared to the same period last year. Watering remains a challenge with the majority of the surface ponds seasonally drying out and pastoralists forced to rely only on underground wells.

Cereal prices declining

Prices of coarse grains remained stable or declined in January 2018 on account of the good 2017 harvest and average demand for stockpiling. Prices of local and imported rice have remained mostly stable. On average, the country imports about 1.8 million tonnes of cereals, including 1.2 million tonnes of rice and 500 000 tonnes of wheat, covering almost half of the country’s total domestic cereal requirements. India, Thailand and Brazil are the largest suppliers of rice.

Food security situation mostly stable although pockets of food insecurity prevail

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.

Despite three consecutive years of above-average harvests, pockets of food insecurity prevail. According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, if nothing is done between June and August 2018, about 750 000 people (out of 15 million inhabitants) are projected to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and Phase 4: “Emergency”, with an increase from about 420 000 in March-May 2018.

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