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Food Security and Nutrition Bulletin for West Africa and the Sahel

  • Special Report
  • West Africa
  • April 12, 2014
Food Security and Nutrition Bulletin for West Africa and the Sahel

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  • Key Messages
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    Key Messages
    • The normal onset of this year’s rainy season in March in the Gulf of Guinea, coupled with the good moisture conditions in April is encouraging the continuation of sowing operations. With precipitation forecasts generally close to seasonal averages (1981-2010 period), from March to June 2014, normal crop development is expected during the first season in the Gulf of Guinea with a bi-modal climate regime.
    • Markets are well supplied with food products and will remain so over the coming months. Cereal prices are generally stable or even decrease compared to the previous month and at the same period in 2013, except for millet and maize in Chad, sorghum in Nigeria, Niger and Mauritania for which an increase is recorded. Compared to the five-year average, the prices of the month are on the rise, particularly in the eastern basin. For the upcoming months, cereal prices will experience slight increases but they will not reach the levels observed in 2013 due to the good food availability and the relatively low demand. However, the prices of certain food commodities which are already higher than in 2013 will remain high for the consumer’s wallet. These include millet in Chad, maize in Chad and Nigeria and sorghum in Mauritania and in eastern Niger. The price of rice imported into the region will remain stable compared to the average, with localized declines, during the consumption year.
    • The low availability of pastures - more pronounced in certain pastoral areas of the Sahel - combined with the depletion of water points is already negatively impacting the food situation of local livestock. This results in a degradation of the physical condition of animals in northern Burkina, eastern and north-western Niger, in the Chadian Sahel, the south-central agro-pastoral and rainfed cropping areas in Mauritania, the agro-pastoral areas of Gao and Timbuktu in Mali and a larger supply of small ruminants in the markets than the average.
    • The food situation is generally satisfactory region-wide, except in the deficit pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of the Sahel where the poor and very poor households are already experiencing food shortages due to the structural weakness of income.
    • The food situation could further deteriorate from June due to increased consumer demand related to farm work. However, the situation is expected to improve in the pastoral areas, from July onwards, with the regeneration of pastures, the formation of surface water bodies and the gradual increase in milk availability, which will be reinforced by the return of transhumant animals and the likely rise in livestock prices during Ramadan.
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