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The supply of traditional cereals (millet, sorghum, maize) from rainfed crop areas, cross-border flows entering from Mali and Senegal and the regularity of imports of other staple foods (rice, wheat, wheat flour, pasta, oil, sugar, tea), favor an average supply of markets and stable or lower price levels compared to last year, in particular for local products. However, supplies of vegetables from Morocco have declined significantly due to the impact of COVID-19 and disruption to routes. In addition, to limit speculation on imported products, the government has just set ceiling prices for rice, oil, wheat and sugar.
Pastoral conditions are normal thanks to the good pasture conditions in the agro-pastoral zones and rainfed crops. The outbreak of rift valley fever that was causing concern during September and October is currently under control. The agreements concluded with neighboring countries allow cross-border transhumance movements and trade in livestock, leading to an increase in demand, in particular for small ruminants to Mali and Senegal. For example, in the markets of Ould Yengé, Adel Bagrou and Selibaby, average goat prices in December were up 57, 9 ,and 33 percent respectively compared to the same period of the past year.
As in a year of good production, the availability of agricultural labor supply for late rainfed harvests, transport, and for market garden production attracts more rural labor to agricultural perimeters than to urban centers. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact the labor market, in particular in the informal sector, which provides income for seasonal migrants. On the other hand, the reduction in vegetable imports has become a factor stimulating market gardening production, resulting in a higher demand for labor than normal. However, payments in the agricultural sector, usually in kind, are not sufficient to compensate for the decline in holdings of paid labor in urban centers.
Households, particularly poor victims of past floods or rift valley fever, can still count on ongoing food and cash distributions concentrated in the wilayas of Guidimankha, Tagant and Dakhlet-Nouadhibou, where they affect respectively 47, 63 and 28 percent of the population. They allow households to be in Minimal ! (Phase 1! Of the IPC) acute food insecurity. However, the urban area of Nouakchott and the wilayas of Gorgol, Hodh el Chargui, and Hodh el Gharbi remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until May.
This Key Message Update provides a broad summary of FEWS NET's current and projected analysis of likely acute food insecurity outcomes in this geography. Learn more about our work here.