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Despite lower prices in some markets than last year, prices remain above average

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • June 2023
Despite lower prices in some markets than last year, prices remain above average

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Moderate rains began in the Sahel region in June, particularly in its eastern part, providing favorable moisture conditions for planting. However, dry conditions prevailed in central Mali, eastern Burkina Faso, western Niger, north-western and central-eastern Nigeria, and south-central Cameroon, reducing planting expansion. Soil preparation remains the main agricultural operation.

    • The forecast average to above-average rainfall for Sahelian countries remain favorable for a good 2023/24 agricultural season. However, below-average harvests are expected in areas affected by insecurity and armed conflict (Lake Chad Basin, the Liptako-Gourma region, north-western and north-central Nigeria and the north-western and south-western regions of Cameroon) due to reduced access to cropland, or even abandonment of fields and poor access to agricultural inputs.

    • Staple food prices showed varied trends in May compared to April, but remained generally above average due to factors such as rising production and transport costs, above-average demand - including ongoing merchant resupply and institutional purchases, challenging macroeconomic factors (falling exchange rates and general inflation), trade bans or restrictions, and insecurity and armed conflict in parts of the Sahel. Nevertheless, prices on several markets in the region were lower than the previous year, reflecting the rebound in production. In Nigeria, inflation was exacerbated by the recent removal of fuel subsidies, which led to a surge in transport costs, and the unification of exchange rates, which led to a further fall in exchange rates. Looking ahead, prices are expected to rise seasonally, peaking across the region during the lean season, before easing from September/October with the main harvests. Overall, prices will remain above average until the end of the year.

    • The majority of areas will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through September 2023. In areas affected by civil insecurity, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are anticipated, notably in the provinces 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, in the southern regions of 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 will persist until September 2023. From June to September, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will spread to other provinces in Burkina Faso (Sanmatenga, Gnagna, Tapoa, Kompienga), to the Lake region of Chad, and to other LGAs in the above-mentioned states of Nigeria. In the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will improve slightly to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from July onwards, thanks to new harvests.

    • Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes that are currently observed in the provinces of Loroum, Soum, Oudalan and Yagha in Burkina Faso, in Ménaka in Mali, and in inaccessible LGAs in the North-East and North-West states of Nigeria, where households are expected to have limited food stocks and limited access to markets and humanitarian aid, will persist until September 2023. 

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. West Africa. Key Messages: Despite lower prices in some markets than last year, prices remain above average. 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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