GIEWS Country Brief: Niger 12-January-2012

News and Press Release
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  • Estimates for the 2011 harvest point to a large decline in coarse grains production

  • Cereal prices recorded sharp unseasonal increases during November and December

  • Conflict in Libya is having a serious impact on food security in parts

  • Urgent actions are needed to prevent a further deterioration of the food situation

2011 coarse grains production sharply reduced due to rainfall deficits and pest attacks

Harvesting of the 2011 cereal crops is almost complete. Erratic rains and extended dry spells throughout the growing period as well as widespread pest attacks caused serious damage to crops, reducing coarse grains yields and delaying harvests in several parts of the southern producing regions (Dosso, Tahoua, Maradi, Zinder, Diffa and Tillaberi). The most affected area is the Tillaberi region in the south-west of the country, which recorded the sharpest decrease in cereal production compared to last year (more than 40 percent).. Moreover, the prolonged dryness caused the depletion of grazing resources and lowered water points’ level in the pastoral areas of Tillaberi.

A joint FAO/CILSS/WFP Crop Assessment Mission which visited the country recently estimated 2011 aggregate cereal production at some 3.8 million tonnes, 27 percent less than previous year’s record harvest and 10 percent below the average for the previous five years. Production of millet and sorghum, the main staple cereals in the country, is estimated to decrease by 24 and 38 percent compared to 2010, respectively.