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  Burkina Faso

Reference Date: 15-October-2021

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2021 forecast well above average

  2. Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 estimated above average

  3. Prices of coarse grains continued to increase and were well above year‑earlier levels

  4. Severe acute food insecurity in northeastern regions

Cereal production in 2021 forecast well above average

Harvesting of the 2021 main season coarse grains and paddy crops is underway and is due to conclude in December. Overall favourable weather conditions since the beginning of the cropping season supported planting operations and crop establishment. Following a timely onset of seasonal rains in the south at the end of April 2021 that progressed towards the north in May and June, well distributed rainfall were at average to above‑average levels through late September across most of the country leading to generally favourable vegetation conditions of cereal crops. However, below‑average rainfall amounts were recorded in parts of northwestern and northern provinces in July and August, and this likely had a negative impact on yields in the affected areas. The government’s support to access subsidized agricultural inputs encouraged farmers to increase plantings in the main producing southern and central regions, while a deterioration of the security situation in northeastern regions hampered agricultural activities. Increased violent events perpetuated by non‑State armed groups (NSGAs) limited farmers’ access to inputs and labour, and forced many rural households to abandon their crops in the fields, particularly in the Sahel, Centre‑Nord, Nord and Est regions.

Cereal production in the south and centre is expected at above‑average levels, while production in the northeast is expected at a reduced level. At the aggregate level, cereal production is officialy forecast at 5.72 million tonnes, 10 percent higher on a year basis and about 20 percent above the previous five‑year average.

The favourable rainfall amounts also supported pasture conditions across most parts of the country, benefitting livestock body conditions and milk production. In northern areas affected by conflicts and localized dryness, the pastoral lean season is expected to have an early start in February 2022 due to limited fodder availability and pasture access.

Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 estimated above average

Cereal import requierements, mostly rice and wheat, are estimated at 785 000 tonnes in the 2020/21 marketing year (November/October), 10 percent above the previous year and 16 percent higher than the five‑year average. The increased import needs reflect strong consumers’ demand for rice and wheat products.

Prices of coarse grains continued to increase and were well above year‑earlier levels

Following an upward trend since the end of 2020, prices of coarse grains, particularly sorghum and maize, spiked in September, despite the arrival to the markets of newly harvested grains and were over 20 percent above their year‑ealier levels. Price gains are mostly due to market disruptions caused by insecurity conditions and strong domestic and export demand. As a measure to contain the price increases, the government banned exports of cereals since January 2021. However, reports from the country indicate that cereal exports continued through informal channels, specially to neighbouring Ghana and the Niger.

To improve access to food, in August, the governement set temporary ceiling prices for cereals in regions where the upward pressure has been more pronounced, particularly in the conflict‑affected northeast and in areas with high presence of Internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Severe acute food insecurity in northeastern regions

The food security situation has deteriorated throughout 2021, particularly in conflict‑affected Centre‑Nord, Nord, Sahel and Est regions. Since early 2021, inter‑communal disputes and violent incidents perpetruated by NSAGs, increased in the northeast compared to the previous year, further displacing populations. According to the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of August 2021, the number of IDPs was estimated at about 1.4 million, about 40 percent higher compared to the level a year before. The mayority of IDPs is concentrated in the Centre‑Nord and Sahel regions, where about 20 000 refugees, mostly from Mali, also sought shelter. The widespread disruption of agricultural livelihoods and markets, which supported high food prices, has hindered access to food and driven an increase in the prevalence of food insecurity among IDPs and poor households. According to the latest Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis, about 2.9 million people were estimated to face acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3 [Crisis] and above) between the June to August 2021 period, well above the 2.2 million people assessed to be food insecure in the same period one year before. Of particular concern, the number of people in CH Phase 4 (Emergency) was estimated at about 350 000, with a twofold increase from previous estimates.

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.