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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 23-April-2020


  1. Planting of 2020 main season maize ongoing in south under normal moisture conditions

  2. Above‑average cereal production harvested in 2019

  3. Prices of coarse grains overall stable

  4. Pockets of chronic food insecurity persist, mostly in north

Start of 2020 cropping season in south follows timely onset of rains

Following the timely onset of seasonal rains in the south, planting of yams was completed in March, while planting of the main season maize crop is ongoing and will be completed by the end of April. The harvest of yams is expected to start in July, while harvesting operations for maize will start in August. The cumulative rainfall amounts since early March have been average to above average in most planted areas and supported the development of yams and maize crops, which are at sprouting, seedling and tillering stages. Weeding activities are normally taking place in most cropped areas. In the north, seasonal dry weather conditions are still prevailing and planting operations for rice, millet and sorghum, to be harvested from October, are expected to begin in May‑June with the onset of the rains.

In April, despite the ongoing pastoral lean season, forage availability was overall satisfactory in the main grazing areas of the country. The domestic livestock seasonal return movement from the south to the north started in early March due to the normal onset of the rains in the south. The animal health situation is generally good and stable, with just some localized outbreaks of seasonal diseases, including Trypanosomiasis and Contagious Bovine Peripneumonia.

Above‑average cereal production harvested in 2019

Harvesting activities for the 2019 rainfed and irrigated crops was completed by end‑January. Favourable rainfall across the country and adequate supply of inputs including certified seeds by the Government and several NGOs benefited the 2019 national cereal production, estimated at 1.3 million tonnes, about 7 percent above the five‑year average. The 2019 harvest included 923 000 tonnes of maize (10 percent above average) and 279 000 tonnes of sorghum (similar to the average level).

Despite the 2019 above‑average production, import requirements for the 2019/20 marketing year (November/October) are forecast at a slightly above‑average level of 280 000 tonnes as local traders are aiming to replenish their stocks.

Prices of coarse grains overall stable

Most agricultural markets are well supplied following the commercialization of newly harvested crops and the relatively high level of carryover stocks from the previous year. Prices of maize are broadly stable and down from a year earlier on account of good domestic availabilities. Similarly, prices of imported rice are also stable due to the regular supply from the international markets.

Pockets of chronic food insecurity persist, mostly in north

Food security conditions are generally favourable due to adequate food availability, regular functioning of the markets, relative price stability and the implementation of safety net interventions by the Government. As a result, the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis did not envisage people in need of food assistance during the March to May 2020 period. However, about 3 500 people are estimated to need food assistance during the lean season (June‑August 2020) as a result of the localized production shortfalls in Tone District (Savanes).

COVID‑19 and measures adopted by the Government

In view of the evolving COVID‑19 situation, the Government has decreed a total country lockdown and a curfew, starting from 2 April 2020. The Government has also taken some sanitary, social and economic measures, including the free diagnosis and treatment of all suspected and confirmed cases of COVID‑19. A cash transfer programme will be launched very soon to help the households that have been most affected by the crisis. Specific support measures are also put in place to support agricultural production and ensure food self‑sufficiency in the country. The Government announced the creation of a National Solidarity and Economic Recovery Fund of XOF 400 billion to finance some socio‑economic measures to face the crisis. Official restrictions on population movements, combined with heightened levels of fear, have led many people to stay at their homes. Although these measures have not affected access to food, further restrictions on population movements could hamper access to land and have a negative impact on 2020 agricultural production.

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.