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Food availability is increasing with the harvest of flood-recession crops

  • Key Message Update
  • Mauritania
  • March 2023
Food availability is increasing with the harvest of flood-recession crops

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Harvesting of flood recession crops that is underway in the agro-pastoral zone and in the Senegal River valley is improving the availability of local cereals and offering daily agricultural employment opportunities to poor households. However, insecurity along the Malian border continues to disrupt seasonal migrations of poor households in agro-pastoral areas, limits their income from remittances, and contributes to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are also present in peri-urban areas where poor households, faced with the continued decline in their purchasing power due to the lack of employment opportunities, are facing rising food prices that limit their access to sufficient and regular food.

    • However, the level of market supply is generally stable compared to February and compared to a typical year, despite the drop in wheat availability. The supply of rice (local and imported) is satisfactory, while that of traditional cereals, which has seen a slight improvement compared to the previous month due to the harvests of flood recession crops, remains below its normal volume. Imports of rice, pasta, oils, sugar, and milk, which are the main products consumed during Ramadan, remain high and are not expected to change until the next lean season which will start as in a typical year in May. Demand also remains stable compared to February and typical of a normal year, with the exception of local rice and pasta, which are increasing due to the lower supply of wheat in the markets. Although the flows from Mali are still timid, those from Senegal, mainly focused on local rice and maize, are significant. Flows from Nouakchott to the interior of the country are regular.

    • The upward trend in the prices of agricultural products (local and imported) observed in February has strengthened, despite the harvest of food recession crops. In the first quarter of 2023, the average price of local rice (broken rice) was about 25 percent above the five-year average in almost all markets. As for grain wheat, prices were 35 percent higher in Nouakchott and about 20 percent higher in Aleg and Oudane, respectively, compared to the five-year average. This trend will continue until the lean season due to the growing demand from households who are depleting stocks of their own production, but also due to the international environment marked by high food prices and the atypically low local cereal availability.

    • In the first quarter of 2023, animal prices continued to increase in most livestock markets and the livestock/cereals terms of trade remained in favor of breeders due to the high quality of the animals presented, which benefited from favorable pastoral conditions this year, plus the strong demand before the major religious festivals of Ramadan in April and Tabaski in June. Compared to the five-year average, prices for medium-sized sheep and 2-year-old bulls are 40 and 32 percent higher respectively in the Nouadhibou market, and 30 and 85 percent respectively in the Selibaby market. However, many poor livestock keepers continue to have to sell more animals than usual to meet the high costs of food and non-food items in the market, contributing to an unusual increase in the number of animals in markets.

    Recommended Citation: FEWS NET. Mauritania Key Messages March 2023: Food availability is increasing with the harvest of flood-recession crops, 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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