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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 27-October-2022


  1. About 830 150 people estimated to be acute food insecure in 2022

  2. Production of cereals in 2022 expected slightly above‑average levels

  3. Above‑average cereal imports forecast in 2022

  4. Prices of locally produced and imported cereals stable or declining in 2022

About 830 150 people estimated to be acute food insecure in 2022

According to the March 2022 Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis, about 830 150 people were estimated to face acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3 [Crisis] and above) during the June‑August 2022 period, including about 24 000 people in CH Phase 4 Emergency). This is about three times the people estimated to face acute food insecurity during the same period in 2021. The sharp increase of acute food insecurity levels is mainly due to the high food prices that have severely constrained access to food, especially during the lean season. The most vulnerable households facing acute food insecurity are located in northern and southern areas as well as in urban centres. Between March and May 2022, the government implemented a number of measures aiming to improve the food security conditions of the most vulnerable households, including export bans to limit uncontrolled outflows of agricultural products, Value added tax (VAT) exemptions and reduced custom duties for imported food products as well as price ceilings on basic foodstuffs.

The ongoing cereal harvests and the recent seasonal decline in prices of locally produced coarse grains are expected to improve food availability and access during the remainder of 2022. However, concern remains about the food security situation of households in northern areas bordering with Burkina Faso and the Niger. Here, the number of conflict‑related incidents and fatalities tripled since 2019, reflecting a spillover from the central Sahel security crisis. Some attacks have targeted local communities, raising the risk of displacements and disruption of agricultural livelihoods.

New CH estimates of the number of people facing acute food insecurity in the last quarter of 2022 are expected to be released in late November by the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

Production of cereals in 2022 expected slightly above‑average levels

Harvesting of the 2022 main season coarse grains and rainfed rice crops was completed in southern parts of the country by the end of September, while is it expected to be completed in northern parts by the end of November. Some pest attacks, in particular Fall Armyworms, were observed in the main season maize crops, but were kept under control. Planting of the secondary maize crops in the south was completed recently and production prospects are overall favourable.

The rainy season had a timely start in April, enabling land preparation and planting activities of the main season crops. Cumulative rainfall amounts through October were overall favourable and supported crop establishment and development across most parts of the country. However, below‑average rainfall amounts were registered in pocket areas in the south in July and August. In addition, heavy rains in August and early September resulted in localized flooding, mostly in central and northern areas, causing some damages to standing crops and losses of livestock and productive assets, and hampering farmers’ access to their fields.

In order to support crop production, amid the high international prices of energy and agricultural inputs, the government has implemented the distribution of improved seeds and agrochemicals at subsidized prices.

Despite localized crop losses caused by floods and dry spells, the 2022 national cereal production, including an average output of secondary crops to be harvested by January 2023, is preliminarily forecast at 2.3 million tonnes, near the previous year’s level and about 5 percent above the five‑year average.

Above‑average cereal imports forecast in 2022

The country relies on imports to meet its domestic cereal requirements. Cereal imports, mostly rice and wheat, in the 2022 calendar year are anticipated at about 690 000 tonnes, over 30 percent above the previous year and the five‑year average. This increase mostly reflects a significant year‑on‑year increase in imports of rice, forecast at 570 000 tonnes, underpinned by the country’s need to bolster the local supply.

Prices of locally produced and imported cereals stable or declining in 2022

Prices of locally produced coarse grains, mainly maize and sorghum, have been generally stable or declined in 2022, reflecting adequate market supply. As of August, they were about 15 percent lower on a yearly basis. Prices of imported rice were generally stable in 2022 and remained near their year‑earlier levels.

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