Burkina Faso + 5 more

Sahel and West Africa Food Security Update, May 2007

Situation Report
Originally published


1. Current Outlook: Good Overall Food Situation

As was confirmed at the last meeting of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (FCPN) held in Paris on 5 and 6 April 2007, total cereal production reached 15 102 000 tonnes in CILSS countries for the 2006-07 Agricultural Campaign. This is an increase of 3% compared to the 2005-06 Campaign and 19% compared with the average over the last five years.

As a result of this ample production, cereal markets overall appear to be well-supplied. Thus the general price stabilisation trend, observed in March-April, is confirmed. In some countries, such as Burkina Faso and Mali, various information sources indicate a slight drop in prices during this period marking the end of institutional purchases in order to supply national security stocks.

There are some exceptions to this overall trend and there has been an increase in prices in some zones and countries:

- Rural zones in Mauritania

- Niger's Dosso and Agadez zones for sorghum and millet

- In Senegal where there is an increasing lack of supplies with the dwindling trade and family stocks

- In eastern Chad where the normal supply flows are interrupted by conflicts.

Besides these exceptions, the overall market situation and prospects for populations to have access to supplies are positive.

In addition, the desert locust situation appears relatively calm at the beginning of this wintering period. Despite threats in the central region Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan), presently no alert will be issued in the Sahel and West Africa. In its bulletin on desert locusts (http://www.fao.org/ag/locusts/common/ecg/562_fr _DL343f.pdf), the FAO cites the slightest risk that swarms could travel from the central region crossing the Sahel towards Niger, Mali and Mauritania. But no significant development is expected for the period up to mid-June 2007.

In the Gulf of Guinea countries and in the Sudanian zones of the Sahel countries (southern Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad), the first rains registered from the beginning of April to 20 May were overall normal or above average (1995- 2006) according to locality. In Gulf of Guinea countries, seeding is underway while in the Sahel countries soil is still being prepared. Off to a slow start in some Sudanian zones, corn and cotton seeding has begun.

Seasonal climatic forecasts are being established and will provide more details on the rainfall trends as from June. In conclusion, analysis of the current situation indicates that presently no particular alert will be issued for all of the Sahel countries with the exception of eastern Chad. As for issuing alerts, as has been the case in Niger, similar declarations of a possible emergency situation in Burkina Faso were recently clarified. http://www.foodsecurity. org//medias/File/Clarifications_FS_BurkinaM ai07_doc(1).pdf).