Sahel Alert: Given the risks of localized food crises in the Sahel, humanitarian ac-tors have developed a Regional Preparedness Strategy.
Coarse grain markets in the Sahel and coastal countries, hindering food access on the poorest groups.
Responses are necessary to prevent a food crisis in the Sahel
The meeting of the Network for the Prevention of Food Crises in the Sahel and West Africa (RPCA) organized by the Permanent Inter-State Committee for the Fight against Drought in the Sahel (CILSS) and the Club du Sahel and West Africa West (SWAC/OECD) held in Praia from 8 to 10 December 2011, confirmed that provisional cereal production in the Sahel and West Africa, amounts to 55.4 million tonnes (up by 4% over the five-year period and down 8% compared to last year). Similarly, for CILSS member countries, production was confirmed at 16.6 million tonnes (down 2% from the five year average and 25% compared to last year).
It is important to stress that these results hide considerable disparities: Chad and Mauritania recorded significant decreases of 23% and 38% over the five year average and of 50% and 52% compared to 2010/2011. Pockets of poor agro-pastoral and fish production concern especially the entire Sahel region of Chad, the agro pastoral zone of Mauritania, north of Kayes and Koulikoro and the Delta of the Niger River in Mali, Northern, North Central and East Burkina Faso, Niamey, Tillabéry, southeast of Zinder in Niger and localized areas of Senegal and Gambia.
Overall, before imports; the Sahel has a cereal deficit of 2.5 million tonnes. However, countries in the Gulf of Guinea (Ghana, Togo, Nigeria and Benin) are said to have a good level of production and a surplus of maize that could be exported to deficit areas of the Sahel. Furthermore, levels of production of cassava (80 million tonnes) and yam (53 million tonnes), similar to last year, remain high.