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Good rainfall prospects expected for 2023 in the region

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • April 2023
Good rainfall prospects expected for 2023 in the region

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • From March to April, rainfall was generally above average in the bimodal Gulf of Guinea zone, with the exception of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. However, rainfall was sufficient to complete crop development in March. Planting is continuing in the Sudanian areas of the Gulf of Guinea, while field preparation is beginning in the Sudanian areas of the Sahel countries. NOAA's seasonal forecasts for the region indicate average rainfall for the main season March-May 2023 in the bimodal Gulf of Guinea zone, average to above-average for the rest of the Gulf of Guinea, and above-average in the Sahel countries for the period June-September 2023. These forecasts are favorable for a good 2023/24 agricultural season.

      • The availability of grazing land is declining seasonally in Sahelian zones, leading to a concentration of herds, particularly along the Niger River in Mali, and in the better grazed areas of southern Niger and Burkina Faso. However, persistent insecurity in the regions of Lake Chad, Liptako-Gourma, the far north of Cameroon, north-western Nigeria and the Tibesti region of Chad, which limits access to certain pastoral zones, is increasing pressure on host areas, with high risks of conflict and premature resource degradation.
      • Grain prices were stable or rising from February to March 2023. Factors contributing to these reported increases include seasonal depletion of household stocks and strong demand for Ramadan. On the other hand, in Nigeria, liquidity shortages and currency exchange difficulties have kept market activities low, leading to atypical monthly declines. Overall, prices remain above the five-year average in the region. These high price levels stem mainly from low carryover stocks, restrictions on cereal exports, high transport costs and insecurity in the Sahel, strong demand, high international prices, high production costs and lower exchange rates in Gulf of Guinea coastal countries. Nevertheless, prices were down compared to last year in several regions due to improved production. Prices are expected to remain above the average until the end of the marketing year.
      • The majority of areas will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) until September 2023. In areas affected by civil insecurity, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity is underway, notably in the provines of Kossi, Sourou, Séno, Yatenga, Bam, northern Namentenga, Komondjari and Gourma in Burkina Faso, and the northern and western regions of Tahoua and Tillabéry in Niger, the regions of Kanem, Bar el Gazel, northern Guera in Chad, the Ménaka region, southern Gao, Mopti and Timbuktu in Mali, Borno State, and parts of Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kaduna in Nigeria, and in the far north of Cameroon, and will persist until September 2023. From June to September, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will extend to other provinces in Burkina Faso (Sanmatenga, Gnagna, Tapoa, Kompienga), to the Lake Chad region, and to other LGAs in the above-mentioned states in Nigeria. In the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity will improve slightly from June/July onwards, as the new harvests will enable households to move into Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.
      • The levels of Emergency (IPC Phase 4) currently observed in the provinces of Loroum, Soum, Oudalan and Yagha in Burkina Faso will persist until September 2023. In the commune of Djibo, where IDPs and host households are experiencing a prolonged period of Emergency (IPC Phase 4), some populations will be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) for the entire period. From June to September, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely in the inaccessible LGAs of Nigeria's North-East and North-West states, where households are expected to have limited food stocks and limited access to markets and humanitarian assistance.
    In the North, Main season cultivation is from mid-May to mid-August. Main harvest is from mid-August to January. Off-season harvest is from January to April. Livestock migration south to north is from mid-March to June. Livestock migration north to south is from mid-October to January. Rainy season is from June to October. Peak labor demand for harvesting is from October to December. Peak labor demand for off-season agriculture is from December to March. Peak labor demand for weeding and harvesting is from

    Source: FEWS NET

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. West Africa. Key Messages: Good rainfall prospects expected in 2023 in the region. 2023.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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