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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 16-March-2021


  1. Land preparation for 2021 cropping season underway

  2. Cereal production in 2020 estimated at above‑average level

  3. Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 estimated slightly below average level

  4. Food assistance needed for vulnerable households

Land preparation for 2021 cropping season underway

Seasonal dry weather conditions are prevailing across the country and planting operations for maize, millet and sorghum, to be harvested from September, are expected to begin in May with the onset of the rains. Planting of rice, the major cereal crop produced in the country, is expected to start in June and the harvests are expected to start in October.

Seasonal rains increased water and pasture availability in July and August 2020, improving livestock body conditions and enhancing animal market value in most parts of the country. In March, despite the ongoing pastoral lean season, forage availability was overall satisfactory in the main grazing areas of the country. The health situation remains overall good and stable, with just some localized outbreaks of seasonal diseases, including Peste des petits ruminants, bacterial anthrax and symptomatic anthrax.

Cereal production in 2020 estimated at above‑average level

The 2020 aggregate production of cereals, mainly rice, is estimated at 257 000 tonnes, about 16 percent above the five‑year average. The good performance mainly reflects favourable weather conditions and adequate supply of inputs provided by the Government with the support of international partner organizations (FAO, PADES, PPRFJ and the Government of Senegal). However, localized production shortfalls were recorded in several areas due to flooding.

Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 estimated slightly below‑average level

Over 45 percent of the national cereal utilization in the country is covered by imports. Rice accounts for about 80 percent of the import requirements, followed by wheat, which accounts for about 15 percent. Import requirements in the 2020/21 marketing year (November/October) are forecast at an above‑average level of 155 000 tonnes as local traders are aiming to replenish their stocks.

Food assistance needed for vulnerable households

The overall food security situation remains stable and favourable across the country. However, continued assistance is needed for the most vulnerable population. According to the November 2020 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 96 000 people (7 percent of the population analyzed) are estimated to need food assistance up to August 2021, with a substantial increase from the 68 000 food insecure during the June to August 2020 period. The main drivers of food insecurity are the effects of adverse weather events (flooding), Fall Armyworm attacks on maize, millet and sorghum crops across the country and the impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the value chain.

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.