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Below-average market supplies of staple cereals

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Burkina Faso
  • February 2018
Below-average market supplies of staple cereals

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Most poor households still have access to at least two daily meals from home-grown crops. The above-average volume of crop production from market gardening activities and the market presence of these crops are helping to maintain a normal household food security situation, with a typical level of market dependence. All parts of the country are still experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, which should continue to be the case through March 2018.

    • Traders in structurally deficit areas in the northern part of the country (livelihood zones 7 and 8) are having difficulty regularly building their inventories back up to their normal levels with the small available supplies and high prices in source areas. As a result, with the depletion of household food stocks as of April and the deterioration in terms of trade for livestock/cereals, poor households will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity between April and September in livelihood zone 8 and between June and September in livelihood zone 7.

    • The high levels of consumer prices for staple cereals are attributable to a rise in prices in major crop-producing areas. More specifically, the unusually early institutional procurements since the end of the season heightened competition for the collection of cereal crops in areas with close to fifty percent smaller than usual marketable surpluses.





    • Localized deficits and a strong institutional demand, driving consumer prices for cereals above the five-year average by 12 percent in the case of maize, 22 percent in the case of millet, and 20 percent in the case of sorghum.
    • Above-average supply of market garden crops (onions and tomatoes), with prices close to 50 percent below normal purchase prices.
    • A growing demand, keeping cereal prices above-average.
    • Smaller supplies in crop-producing areas and speculative practices by traders, reducing market supplies.
    • A growing volume of maize imports from the coastal states (mainly from Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana) to meet the rising domestic demand.

    Livelihood zones 7 and 8

    •  Atypical rise in prices for millet and sorghum, both of which are staple foods.
    • Prices for small ruminants generally close to the five-year average, but with the high levels of cereal prices eroding terms of trade.
    • Terrorist threats in border areas triggering population displacements, targeting mainly defense and security forces, specialized government personnel, expatriates, and community leaders of the opposition.
    • Growing household demand on local markets with the depletion of household food stocks as of March.
    • Continued erosion in terms of trade due to the high level of staple food prices.
    • Departure of larger numbers of animals for southern areas due to the pressure on animal watering holes and surrounding lands and the security problems restricting herd movements to normal grazing areas within Mali.
    • Continued terrorist threat liable to increase the number of displaced persons.


    The government is hoping to acquire 95,000 metric tons of cereals for a subsidized sales program to help bring down cereal prices on local markets. The funding mobilized to date will suffice to purchase approximately 32,000 metric tons of cereal supplies from wholesalers and professional farmers’ unions. Though traders are reassuring the government of their ability to meet this demand, this could drive up prices in crop collection areas, in turn, triggering a rise in prices in deficit areas in the northern part of the country.

    Poor households generally rely on income from the sale of market garden crops and livestock and from gold mining activities to purchase supplies on local markets during the lean season. In the wake of the localized shortfalls in crop production, larger than usual numbers of households quickly took to growing dry season crops. As a result, supplies of market garden produce are outstripping demand and prices have dropped to approximately 50 percent below normal purchase prices. Though prices for small ruminants and a gram of gold (25,000 CFAF on average) are close to average, in general, the high level of staple cereal prices continues to undermine household food access.

    Livelihood zones 7 and 8 normally get their supplies from western crop-producing areas and the Ouagadougou and Pouytenga wholesale markets. The high price levels in these source areas and longer delivery times as a result of the heightened competition are making it difficult for traders to build up normal inventories. The price of a 100 kg sack of cereals on order is up from last year, for example, by approximately 10 to 15 percent and delivery times have more than doubled. As a result, in general, the resale prices charged consumers are still generally above the five-year average. Thus, prices for millet, the main staple food in the Sahelian region, are anywhere from 11 to 29 percent above the five-year average. Due to its high price, poor households are being forced to replace it with sorghum or maize.

    With most poor households depleting their food stocks by the month of March, there will be a growing demand for cereals on local markets at a time when households will also need money to feed their livestock during the lean season in pastoral areas (between March and June). The below-average levels of trader inventories are expected to drive prices 30 percent above the seasonal average. This will further erode terms of trade for livestock/cereals, which are already anywhere from three to 22 percent below the five-year average. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity in livelihood zone 8 beginning in April will spread to livelihood zone 7 by June, where these conditions will extend through September 2018.

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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