FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
• Timely start of 2021 planting season
• Record cereal output gathered in 2020
• Cereal import requirements forecast above average level
• Stable cereal prices due to adequate supply
• Pockets of food insecurity remain among most vulnerable households
Timely start of 2021 planting season
Planting of the 2021 coarse grain crops (maize, millet and sorghum), to be harvested from late September to early October, started on time in June in some areas in South-East and is expected to finalize in July. Plot and seedling preparation activities for rice and groundnut crops, to be harvested from November, are also underway and are expected to be completed in August.
The latest weather forecast by the Forum of the Agro Hydro Climatic Seasonal Forecast in Sudano Sahelian Africa (PRESASS) points to below average rainfall amounts in coastal parts of the country, with prolonged dry spells between June and September 2021, likely affecting yields and availability of pasture and water for livestock. Moreover, localized production shortfalls are likely to occur in some areas bordering the Senegal valley as flooding are expected to occur in July to August 2021 in relation to the forecasted above average flows of the Senegal basin. However, due to forecasted favourable rainfall across central and northern parts of the country and adequate supply of inputs, 2021 national cereal production is forecast at an above average level of 3 million tonnes.
In most pastoral areas, seasonal dry conditions are prevailing and rains are expected to start in July. The pastoral lean season is underway with an adequate availability of pasture across the country, with the exception of some areas in Bambey, Diourbel, Kaolack, Nioro, Rufisque districts, which experienced pasture deficits during 2020. The domestic transhumant herds are expected to return from southern areas to pastoral areas in July with the normal onset of rainfall. The animal health situation is generally good, with only seasonal disease outbreaks, including Newcastle and Gumboro diseases (poultry), pasteurellosis and distomatosis (ovine and bovine), botulism in cattle, sheep pox in small ruminants, haemorrhagic disease in rabbits, Crime Congo haemorrhagic fever, Equine Influenza, rabies, Bovine zoonotic tuberculosis, Anthrax and west Nile fever. Nevertheless, the zoonotic disease, including Rift valley fever (RVF) occurred in Saint Louis Region in 2020 followed a cycling occurrence in early 2021 due to the vector transmission linked to the climate change and animal mobility through transboundary exchanges.
Record cereal production harvested in 2020
The 2020 national cereal production is estimated at 3.6 million tonnes, about 40 percent above the average. The good performance mainly reflects favourable weather conditions and an adequate supply of inputs, mostly provided by the government with the support of international partners’ organizations. Major year on year production increases were recorded for millet and rice (paddy). However, localized production shortfalls were recorded in several areas due to flooding in July and August 2020 as well as pockets of drought at the start (June) and the end (September) of the season.
Above average import requirements forecast
The country relies heavily on imports to cover its total domestic cereal consumption needs. Despite the expected above average 2021 cereal production, import requirements in the 2021/22 marketing year (November/October) are forecast at a high level of 2.4 million tonnes, as traders aim to build their stocks.
Cereal prices stabilized due to adequate supply
In most regions of the country, the easing of the COVID 19 pandemic containment measures and satisfactory market supplies contributed to maintain prices of coarse grains stable in recent months. Nevertheless, strong domestic demand for household consumption, continued to drive millet prices up in Dakar, the capital city.
Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable households
According to the March 2021 “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 488 000 people are estimated to need external food assistance between June and August 2021, well below the 766 000 food insecure people that were estimated for the same period in 2020. The improvement in the food situation and the decline in the number of food insecure population is due to the easing of the COVID 19 pandemic containment measures, which allowed the movement of households to carry out their normal seasonal livelihood activities.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations