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Despite good harvests, the need to replenish retail and institutional stocks will continue to push up prices

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • January 2023
Despite good harvests, the need to replenish retail and institutional stocks will continue to push up prices

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Agricultural production in 2022/23 was generally satisfactory in the region, with the exception of cotton, which was affected by heavy pest infestations. The normal establishment of deciduous and off-season crops in areas where flood recession crop production is possible should lead to average harvests from January to March 2023. However, difficulties in accessing certain production sites in conflict and insecurity zones are further reducing the area under cultivation in several areas of Liptako Gourma and the Lake Chad basin. In the Timbuktu area, where there are large areas of flood recession cultivation, the positive flood levels are helping to increase the area available for cultivation, particularly for rice.

    • On the pastoral front, the good availability of water and pasture means that livestock can be adequately fed, promoting good body conditions and access to animal products. Persistent insecurity in certain pastoral areas of Lake Chad, Liptako-Gourma, the far north of Cameroon, north-west Nigeria and the Tibesti region of Chad has led to animal theft by armed bandits, and limited access to pastoral resources and markets. There has also been a deterioration in the terms of trade between livestock and cereals, which are generally unfavorable to livestock farmers due to the depreciation of currencies, including the Naira, Cedi and the Leones, as well as the high price of cereals.

    • The seasonal fall in prices continued throughout the region in December, as the main harvests bolstered supplies and reduced household dependence on the market. Nevertheless, abnormal price rises persisted in areas affected by insecurity. Overall, staple food prices remain well above average in the region. This is mainly due to low carryover stocks, restrictions or bans on cereal exports, insecurity in the Sahel, rising global food and fuel prices, high production costs and currency depreciation in the coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea. Although preliminary crop assessment figures point to a rebound in regional cereal production after last year's considerable drop, prices are likely to remain above average due to increased restocking needs, persistent trade barriers and high transport costs in a general context of inflation.

    • The majority of areas are experiencing an improvement in food security to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) due to the main harvests starting in October and those of market garden produce from January to March, which improve food availability and provide households with income. Stressed 2 ! (IPC Phase 2 !) food insecurity is prevailing in January in the Diffa region and southern Maradi in Niger, the Kanem, Lac and Barh El Gazel regions in Chad, the Sanmatenga province in Burkina Faso and in several LGAs in Borno and Yobe states in Nigeria and will persist until May in Diffa and Maradi in Niger, while in the other areas it will evolve into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and May 2023. During the same period, this level of food insecurity will also affect the departments of Dababa and Mangalmé in Chad, the Liptako Gourma area in Mali, and the north and west of the Far North region in Cameroon, which are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

    • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are currently affecting the provinces of Yagha, Seno, and northern Namentenga in Burkina Faso, the Ménaka region in Mali, the western and northern regions of Tillaberi and Tahoua in Niger, the north-western and south-western regions of Cameroon, western and southern Katsina, northern and southern Sokoto, eastern Niger, northern and central Zamfara, northwestern, northeastern and southeastern Kaduna, northeastern and southern Yobe, western and eastern Borno in Nigeria, and will persist until May 2023, extending to several other areas in the above-mentioned states of Nigeria, as well as to the provinces of Yatenga, Bam, Sanmatenga, Komondjari, Gourma, Kompienga and Tapoa in Burkina Faso. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity in Burkina Faso's Soum and Oudalan provinces will persist until May 2023, and will extend to the Yagha province from February 2023, all of which are affected by armed conflict and insecurity.

    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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