Research, Assessment & Monitoring (RAM) - Periodical

Post date Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 - 17:25
Month(s) covered 2021-09, 2021-08, 2021-07
Document Type Periodic Monitoring Report
Content Themes Agriculture, Cash and Vouchers, Markets, Livestock, Livelihoods, Food Assistance, Food Security
Sources WFP

Quick overview of the agricultural season 

The agricultural season is characterized by an early start in the western Sahel, normal in the coastal countries, and late in the central and eastern Sahel. In addition, long (more or less) dry spells observed in several areas hampered the normal development of crops and delayed the start of the main harvest season in the coastal countries. Nevertheless, normal to surplus rainfall recorded as of 15 September 2021 in the CILSS/ECOWAS region, there was a very poor distribution of rainfall in time and space, which significantly affected the vegetative cycle of crops.  Isolated heavy rains have caused flooding in some river basins, particularly in Benin and Niger, where the loss of life has been recorded.

The Desert Locust threat is under control in the Sahel frontline countries.
Forecasts indicate that ongoing agricultural production could be higher than the five-year average if the end of the season is late as expected. Cereals production is expected to be between 72 and 79 million metric tons, showing an increase of between 1% and 12% compared to the five-year average. Crop forecasts indicate an increase of 3 to 17% in the CILSS countries. In UEMOA countries, cereals production increase could vary between 2% and 18%. In ECOWAS countries, cereal production is expected to grow by 6% to 12%. The production of roots and tubers would be between 189 million and 196 million metric tons, i.e. an increase of 3% to 7%. As regards cash crops, cotton production, at between 2.4 and 3.3 million tons, is expected to fall by 12%, while soya beans are expected to rise by between 17 and 21% due to the demand generated by the development of peri-urban poultry farming.

The pastoral situation is generally good in the pastoral areas of Burkina Faso, in the western half of Niger, and in the far east of Chad. It is relatively good in parts of Senegal and Mali. In these areas, there is good availability of pasture and water for livestock. However, a significant delay in vegetation growth or a total absence of biomass is observed, particularly in Mauritania, the Ferlo region of Senegal, the pastoral zone of Mali, and the Lake Chad Basin.

Despite some recent price declines, the situation in agricultural markets remains tight due to insufficient local grain supplies and high demand. The highest price increases are observed in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. These increases are due, amongst other things, to higher transport costs and road harassment. The international market is marked by a bounce-back in the FAO index, in August, after two consecutive months of decline. This was mainly due to strong increases in the sub-indices for sugar, vegetable oils, and cereals. The increase in cereal prices could have adverse consequences for countries in the region, particularly those importing wheat, rice, and other foodstuffs whose prices are already high on local markets

It is still too early to predict food security outcomes based on the above information. Ongoing food security assessments and the Cadre Harmonisé analysis will provide accurate information on the state of food security and nutrition in West Africa. The preliminary findings of this analysis will be available by end of October for the coastal countries and the end of November in the Sahelian countries. Consolidated figures of food insecure people could be circulated by end of November.

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