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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 23-May-2023


  1. Planting of coarse grain crops is underway

  2. Above‑average cereal import requirements forecast in 2022/23 marketing year

  3. Prices of key food staples significantly higher on yearly basis

  4. About 79 000 people projected to be acutely food insecure during 2023 lean season

Planting of coarse grain crops is underway

Planting operations of maize, millet and sorghum crops, to be harvested from September, are underway with the establishment of the rainy season expected in early June. Sowing of rice, the major cereal crop produced in the country, is expected to start in June for harvesting from October. Weather forecasts point to average to above‑average rainfall amounts between May and September throughout most of the country, which is expected to benefit planting operations and crop development.

The 2022 aggregate cereal production is estimated at 301 000 tonnes, nearly 8 percent above the previous year’s level and about 27 percent above the five‑year average.

Aboveaverage cereal import requirements forecast in 2022/23 marketing year

The country relies on imports, mostly of rice and wheat, to meet its domestic cereal requirements. Cereal import requirements in the 2022/23 marketing year (November/October) are forecast at 153 000 tonnes, about 11 percent above the five‑year average. Cereal import requirements are high as local traders aim to replenish their stocks.

Prices of key food staples significantly higher on yearly basis

Retail prices of imported rice, the country’s main staple, remained stable or decreased in January and February 2023 (latest available data) and were 10‑25 percent higher year‑on‑year.

Despite the harvest of an above‑average domestic cereal output in 2022, prices of locally produced sorghum and millet followed mixed trends between September 2022 and February 2023. Prices of sorghum were near or below their year‑earlier values, while prices of millet were between 20 and 60 percent higher on a yearly basis in February 2023.

Significant price increases were also recorded for other important food products. Retail prices of imported vegetable oil and groundnuts remained stable or increased in January and February 2023, when they were up to 40 and 55 percent, respectively, above their year‑earlier levels.

The high food prices mainly reflect elevated international commodity prices and transport costs. In addition, the depreciation of the West African Franc, which was equivalent to XOF 612/USD 1 in February 2023 compared to XOF 578/USD 1 in February 2022, added further upward pressure on domestic food prices.

About 79 000 people projected to be acutely food insecure during 2023 lean season

According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” (CH) analysis, nearly 79 000 people are projected to face CH Phase 3 (Crisis) levels of acute food insecurity between June and August 2023. This represents a slight deterioration compared to the previous year, when about 73 000 people were estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance.

The projected increase in acute food insecurity levels is mostly driven by the high food and non‑food inflation, and the low households’ purchasing power. In September 2022, the government implemented a number of measures aiming to improve the food security conditions of the most vulnerable households, including price ceilings on rice, wheat flour, sugar and fuel. These measures are expected to remain in place until further notice.

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.

This brief was prepared using the following data/tools:
FAO/GIEWS Country Cereal Balance Sheet (CCBS)

FAO/GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Tool

FAO/GIEWS Earth Observation for Crop Monitoring

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)