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Slightly below-average harvests despite continued rainfall in October

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Senegal
  • October 2013
Slightly below-average harvests despite continued rainfall in October

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through March 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Continued rainfall through the first 10 days of October allowed late-planted crops to fully mature as was hoped for by farmers in crop-growing areas. However, a generally below-average harvest is expected due to the reduction in cropped areas and in yields as a result of the large delays in crop planting activities.

    • Cereal prices are decreasing, in line with seasonal trends, particularly in crop-producing areas. Their price trends will depend on prices for groundnuts which, similar to last year, can contribute to the reduction of market supplies of local cereals, driving up prices prematurely.

    • With the availability of the October to December harvest and normal participation in their typical income-generating activities, poor households will continue to experience Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) through March of next year.





    The reduction in crop production by approximately 14 percent is due to insufficient rain at the beginning of the growing season and relatively long dry spells reported in September. These dry spells hindered the progress of crops in the north and in localized areas of the center of the country.

    The decline in food availability as a result of the shortfall in crop production will cause affected households to turn to typical coping strategies to fill the gap.



    Projected Outlook Through March 2014

    Cumulative rainfall totals as of October 10, 2013 in all parts of the country were roughly average, except in coastal areas, where they were above average. Continued rainfall in line with weather forecasts allowed late-planted crops to mature normally, which should put cereal production only slightly below-average, or by approximately 14 percent. Forecasts for below-average harvests are based on the reduction of yields due to the late start of the rains and poor distribution of rainfall in June and September. The largest production shortfalls are expected in the north and in highly localized areas of the central farmbelt due to the crop damage from caterpillars and flooding in these areas. These shortfalls in crop production will affect some 13,940 households. However, they are mitigated by the good outlook for flood-recession and market garden crops in these riverbelt areas with good water levels in floodplain areas, which will help households during the months of March and April. Larger off-season cropping areas planted in rice and maize with good irrigation levels from rivers will serve as sources of food and income for households in riverbelt areas.

    Household food stocks are currently being replenished with harvests of maize, groundnut, and early-planted millet. The availability of these crops at the household level is reducing market purchases. The increase in supply of cereals on markets in crop production centers compared last month helped finance needs for the Tabaski holiday, as well as the beginning of the school year. However, the availability of harvest stocks at the household level is limiting market demand, triggering the seasonable decline in prices. Millet and sorghum prices are virtually unchanged from last month and maize prices are down by 5 to 10 percent. Prices for maize and millet are above the average, though, by 4 and 20 percent, respectively. The price of rice, the main dietary staple, is unchanged from last month and approximately five percent below average. Future trends in cereal prices will depend on prices for groundnuts, which can reduce household cereal sales when they earn higher revenues from groundnuts, thus reducing market supply of cereals. Groundnut prices have been stable since last month and are slightly above the five-year average by approximately four percent.

    The higher than normal sale of maize (due to favorable prices) and of early groundnut harvests produced revenues larger than usual, particularly for households who benefited from early planting in June. Revenue from typical income-generating activities, such as wage labor and trade, should help poor households maintain their market access, especially as prices are lower during this outlook period, between now and March of next year. Payment in-kind for labor on wealthier farms is average, or slightly below average in some areas. Based on the factors outlined above, poor households will be able to meet their food needs between October and next March.

    Conditions in livestock-raising areas are marked by good levels of pasture production and good water levels at animal watering holes, helping to ensure good milk production and to keep livestock in good physical shape. Supplies of livestock in general and of small animals in particular are larger than they were last year, particularly from Mali with the special facilities granted by the Senegalese government in order to meet demand for the celebration of Tabaski. The good prices for livestock, particularly sheep, are helping to generate average to significant revenues for agropastoralists, allowing them to meet their purchase needs.

    Household food security is strengthened by ongoing harvests, which are providing households with a source of both food and income. The reduction of agricultural production by 14 percent compared to average is lowering household income by reducing the volume of crops they sell at market. However, typical price trends and stable prices for broken rice, the principle staple, allow for normal access to food, maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity for households between October and March of next year. Nevertheless, with the loss of their assets, certain flood-stricken households in the Kédougou, Matam and Louga areas will have difficulty rebuilding their livelihoods and adequately meeting their food needs.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2


    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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