GIEWS Country Brief Mali 14-February-2013

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Military interventions led to increased food insecurity in the northern part of the country
  • Last year’s good cereal harvests pushed prices down in the South

Increased food insecurity in the northern part of the country

The current military operations have aggravated the disruptions to food commodity flows to northern regions leading to increasingly tight market supplies, diminishing food stocks, and dwindling cash resources. For example, supplies coming from Algeria to Kidal and Gao have fallen by 50 percent following the closure of the border with Algeria, according to a recent assessment conducted by WFP. Most salesmen have reportedly left the Kidal area increasing the risk of serious food shortages in that region, according to another rapid evaluation.

The conflict also dramatically altered the overall security situation, resulting in large population displacements. As of late January 2013, 15 208 new Malian refugees had arrived in Burkina Faso (5 002), Mauritania (8 468) and Niger (1 738). Over 200 000 Malian refugees were already residing in these countries as of late December 2012. There was also massive displacement of herders and livestock to neighboring countries.

A good cereal harvest gathered last year following improved weather

Last year, adequate rainfall during the main cropping season has resulted in a favourable cereal harvest. Government services estimated the 2012 aggregate cereals production at over 6.2 million tonnes (including off-season crop harvest forecasts), about 9 percent higher than the 2011 drought-affected output and 16 percent above the average of the past five years.

Reflecting the good 2012 cereal crops markets are generally well supplied in the southern parts of the country and cereal prices have declined significantly. For example, millet prices in markets in Bamako continued their downward movement through January 2013 and they were 17 and 32 percent, respectively, lower than in January 2013.