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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 05-June-2023


  1. Dire food security situation in Ménaka Region due to conflict

  2. Timely start of cereal planting in central and southern areas

  3. Cereal production in 2022 estimated at slightly above‑average level

  4. Prices of rice at high levels

Dire food security situation in Ménaka Region due to conflict

According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” (CH) analysis, about 1.26 million people are projected to face acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3 [Crisis] and above) between June and August 2023, including over 76 000 people in CH Phase 4 (Emergency) and 2 500 people in CH Phase 5 (Catastrophe). This would be an overall decline in the number of acutely food insecure people compared to the same period in 2022, when 1.84 million people were estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance. However, it marks the first time that the country is expected to have a number of people in CH Phase 5 (Catastrophe) level.

Deteriorating conflict, mainly in central and northern areas, is the key driver of acute food insecurity. Between January and April 2023, 515 violent incidents were recorded across the country, a 30 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022, mostly due to the rising number of attacks by non‑state armed groups against civilians. In Ménaka Region, the besiegement of civilians by non‑state armed groups is expected to lead to CH Phase 5 (Catastrophe) food security outcomes during the upcoming lean season.

Worsening insecurity continued to disrupt agricultural activities, mostly in parts of Mopti and Ségou regions, where a decrease in cultivated areas during the 2022 cropping season was reported. Furthermore, while persistent high food prices affect vulnerable households across the country, they limit in particular the food access of people in the conflict‑affected areas due to market disruptions as well as constrained access to sources of income and humanitarian assistance.

Humanitarian needs are also high for the 375 000 Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country and for 64 000 refugees, mostly from Burkina Faso, the Niger and Mauritania.

Timely start of cereal planting in central and southern areas

Planting of the 2023 maize, millet and sorghum crops started on time in May in central and southern areas. Adequate rainfall amounts since early May resulted in favourable moisture conditions for crop establishment. In northern cropping areas, activities are limited to land preparation and early planting of rice.

Weather forecasts point to average to above‑average rainfall amounts in central and southern areas between June and September, which could benefit crop development, but also heighten the risk of flooding.

Cereal production in 2022 estimated at slightly above‑average level

The 2022 aggregate cereal production is estimated at a near‑average level of 10.1 million tonnes, about 15 percent above the reduced previous year’s level, reflecting generally conducive weather conditions and an adequate provision of agricultural inputs by the government and its partners. Localized production shortfalls were caused by floods and insecurity.

Prices of rice at high levels

Wholesale prices of locally produced sorghum were generally stable in recent months, except in markets located in the conflict‑affected areas, including Gao, Mopti and Tombouctou, where a significant volatility was recorded in April and May. Wholesale prices of millet followed mixed trends in May. Overall, prices of coarse grains in May were generally between 20 and 35 percent below their very high year‑earlier levels.

Wholesale prices of locally produced rice showed mixed trends in May. Despite the near‑average domestic rice output in 2022, prices were up to 45 percent above their elevated year‑earlier levels, mainly due to high costs of agricultural inputs, including fuel. Prices of imported rice remained stable in May 2023, when they were up to 35 percent higher than a year earlier, mainly due to high prices on the international market.

In order to mitigate the price increases and improve market availability, a ban on cereal exports was introduced in December 2021 and it is still in place ( FPMA Food Policies ).

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) .