GIEWS Country Brief Mali 02-February-2017

News and Press Release
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  • Favourable weather conditions during cropping season contributed to record 2016 cereal output

  • Coarse grain prices have been stable in recent months and remained close to year‑earlier levels

  • Humanitarian assistance still needed despite improved civil and food security situation

Favourable weather conditions during cropping season contributed to record 2016 cereal output

Abundant rains contributed to a bumper 2016 harvest for the third consecutive year. Harvesting of maize, millet and sorghum was completed in November, while harvesting of rice concluded in January 2017. According to preliminary findings, a record cereal output was gathered following beneficial rains from July over the main producing areas of the country. The 2016 aggregate cereal production was estimated at nearly 9 million tonnes, about 11 percent higher than the 2015 bumper crop and 35 percent above the average of the previous five years. The production of millet, the most important staple, increased by 3 percent, while rice production increased by 21 percent to about 2.8 million tonnes. Pastoral conditions were also satisfactory. The filling levels of most water points were adequate and animals remained in good condition.

A bumper crop was gathered in 2014 and 2015 following favourable rains. The 2015 aggregate cereals production was estimated at some 8 million tonnes, about 16 percent higher than the 2014 bumper crop and 28 percent above the average of the previous five years.

Coarse grain prices stable in most markets and similar to year-earlier levels

Prices of millet and sorghum have been generally stable and similar to their year-earlier levels in recent months, reflecting good supplies from several consecutive years of above-average harvests. In Bamako, prices of sorghum in January 2017 were close to their levels in January 2016. Prices are expected to remain at low levels in the short term as a result of enhanced supplies from the new bumper harvest.

Livestock markets are well supplied and animals are in good conditions. However, livestock demand has been hampered due to reduced imports from Algeria and Nigeria. The faltering demand for livestock from Algerian buyers is due to the current outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Niger whereas buyers in Nigeria have been negatively affected by the steep depreciation of their local currency.

Agricultural production hampered by persisting insecurity

Agriculture was seriously damaged during the last civil strife in parts of the country. Labour shortages due to population displacements, lack of agricultural support services in the northern half, fragmentation of the markets and other difficulties related to civil security have had a serious negative impact on agricultural production and food markets. According to OCHA, as of end-October 2016, there are an estimated 36 690 internally‑displaced people in Mali mostly residing in Timbuktu, the most affected region.

Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people

The lingering effects of the disruptions caused by the recent civil strife have had a very adverse, longer‑term impact on household assets and savings, notably in the northern part of the country. Several segments of the population still need food and non‑food assistance to restore their livelihoods and enable them to have better access to food. About 176 500 people, located mostly in Timbuktu, Mopti and Sikasso regions, are estimated to be in Phase: 3 Crisis and above, according to the latest Cadre Harmonisé analysis conducted in the country.