GIEWS Country Brief: Niger 20-July-2012
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Early prospects for the 2012 cereal crops are uncertain
Cereal prices remain firm at high levels.
Conflicts in neighbouring countries are seriously impacting on food security
Humanitarian assistance need to be continued and strengthened to prevent further deterioration in the food situation
Early crop prospects for the 2012 cereal crops are uncertain; concern remains over Desert Locust threat and irregular rains in parts.
The start of the rainy season was somewhat erratic with below average precipitation recorded in several areas through early July, notably in Dosso and Gaya regions in the western part of the country. Emerging crops will suffer water stress if rains do not improve in July and August.
Pastures have started to regenerate in some areas but more regular rains are needed for a meaningful improvement in pasture conditions across the country. Moreover, Desert Locust continues to pose a serious threat to crops and pasture. Small immature groups and swarms which formed along the Algerian-Libyan border in May moved south and invaded northern Niger and Mali from late May to mid-June.
Infestations were reported throughout northern Niger, mainly on the eastern side of the Tamesna Plains between Arlit and Agadez, in the Air Mountains, on the western edge of the Ténéré Desert, and near Bilma and the Djado Plateau. Desert Locusts have reportedly moved further south, reaching pastures in the northern cropping zones near Tanout. The food security and poverty impacts of severe Locust damage on a national scale would be disastrous, as the country already faces a serious food crisis.