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Crop prospects for 2023 and 2024 are average except for declines in the Sahel

  • Key Message Update
  • West Africa
  • September 2023
Crop prospects for 2023 and 2024 are average except for declines in the Sahel

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The mid-term assessment of the 2023/2024 agropastoral season, carried out at the end of August by the September 2023 PREGEC meeting, estimates that cereal production may be near average, between 73 to 80 million tonnes. Harvest in the Sahel may be average at best, given the long dry spells already recorded in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Chad, below-average September cumulative rainfall in central, southern, and western Mali, eastern Mauritania, western and central Burkina Faso, eastern Nigeria, eastern and parts of western Niger, and reductions in planted areas due to insecurity/armed conflict in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. For pastoral activities, water availability is satisfactory for livestock watering, but forage production will be below average in some regions of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Chad.

    • Commodity prices remained stable or increased from July to August 2023, against a backdrop of low seasonal availability and widespread market dependency. Notable monthly price increases have recently been recorded in Nigeria (in a context of deteriorating macroeconomics marked by high inflation), and in Niger (following the military takeover and economic and trade sanctions imposed by ECOWAS, including border closures). Overall, staple food prices remained above the five-year average, mainly due to factors including low stocks, insecurity and persistent trade restrictions or export bans in the Sahel, high demand, high international prices, and lower exchange rates in Gulf of Guinea coastal countries. Despite a seasonal decrease in prices expected from September/October onwards linked to the main harvests, prices will remain above average throughout the region.

    • The majority of areas will face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes until January 2024, with some areas Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In the civil unrest-affected Diffa and southernmost Maradi regions of Niger, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes will continue until January. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes driven by persistent insecurity/armed conflict and deteriorating livelihoods currently affecting the Seno, Gnagna, Gourma, Kompienga, Bam, Sanmatenga, Yatenga, Sourou, and Mouhoun provines in Burkina Faso, Lac, Kenem, Bahr El Gazal, Tibesti, Wadifira, Logone, northeast Guera, and east Ouaddai in Chad, South Timbuktu, northeast, east, and southeast Mopti in Mali, Far North region of Cameroon, northeast, northwest, and part of north-central Nigeria, persists into September 2023 and has also reached the provinces of Namentenga and Tapoa in Burkina Faso and parts of Ennedi and Sila in Chad. Most of these areas will see an improvement to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between October and January 2024 due to new harvests, except in Sanmatenga, Séno, Loroum, and northern Yatenga in Burkina Faso, and Lac, Wadifira, and Ouaddai in Chad, where Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will persist until January 2024. In Niger, the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes that prevailed in July in the north and west of the Tillaberi region, and in the north of Tahoua, will persist until January 2024. In light of the heavy sanctions imposed on Niger following the coup d'état, this level of food insecurity could be extended to many other populations, or even worsen, particularly for those who are displaced and/or residing in conflict zones and dependent on assistance.

    • Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are observed in the provinces of Yagha and Oudalan in Burkina Faso, Ménaka in Mali, and in inaccessible local government areas in the northeastern states of Nigeria, where households are expected to have reduced food stocks and limited access to markets and humanitarian aid, will persist until January 2024 in Burkina Faso. While the lean season in Burkina Faso is the period of greatest need, with Emergency! (IPC Phase 4!) outcomes in the commune of Djibo, the severity of hunger will diminish only marginally in the post-harvest period, with Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes expected between October and January. Although this is not the most likely scenario, FEWS NET estimates that a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) will persist in Djibo until at least January.

    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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