Food security and humanitarian implications in West Africa and the Sahel, N°85 - October 2017

Key points:

  • Rainfall deficits marks the end of the main crop season across West Africa and the Sahel.

  • Significant deficits in biomass production in Senegal, Mauritania and Chad may lead to early pastoral lean season.

  • Armyworm has been detected in all West African and Sahel countries, except Mauritania, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Rainfall deficits in October marks the end of the main rainy season across West Africa and the Sahel. With the beginning of the harvest, the good production prospects that have been announced owing to the good rainfall of this rainy season are to be confirmed, and the impact of floods and rainfall deficits recorded in some countries are to be assessed.

The feeding situation of livestock is characterized by a good regeneration and development of the land cover. Livestocks are overall in good condition. However, abnormalities in biomass production in the Sahel indicate important deficits in Mauritania, Senegal and Chad. These areas are likely to have fodder deficits and difficult conditions for pastoralists who will seek pastures and water for their herds. The low availability of biomass and water favors a high probability of an early, prolonged and difficult lean season for these areas in 2018. Herd transhumance is likely to begin early in search of pastures and water, and this can cause tensions between farming and pastoral communities