Senegal

GIEWS Country Brief: Senegal 11-September-2020

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Favourable moisture conditions allow timely planting of 2020 planting season

  • Above‑average output estimated in 2019

  • Prices of cereals showed mixed trends in July, but were generally higher compared to year earlier

  • Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people

Favourable moisture conditions allow timely planting of 2020 planting season

Planting of the 2020 crops of coarse grains (millet, sorghum, rice and maize), started on time across the country with the onset of the rains in June. Abundant rains since June resulted in favourable moisture conditions for the germination and establishment of the crops, which are currently at maturity stage and the harvest is expected to start in October. The weather forecast points to above‑average rainfall amounts throughout October in most parts of the country and the rain is expected to have a positive impact on yields. Localized production shortfalls are likely to occur in the districts of Dakar, Thiès, Rufisque, Kaolack, Saint‑Louis, Louga and Diourbel as well in the areas bordering the Senegal valley due to flooding.

Favourable rainfall in July‑August in most pastoral areas of the country improved natural pasture conditions and contributed to the replenishment of water reserves to satisfactory levels. This helped improve livestock body conditions, enhancing the animal market value. The animal health situation is overall stable, with small seasonal outbreaks of epizootic diseases, such as the Peste des petits Ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goats, and the Foot and Mouth (FMD) in cattle.

Above‑average cereal production estimated in 2019

Favourable rainfall in 2019 benefitted crop development in most parts of the country. The national cereal production in 2019 is estimated at 2.7 million tonnes, 11 percent above the average of the last five years. However, several areas experienced production shortfalls due to pockets of drought at the start (June) and the end (September) of the seasons as well as flooding during July‑August 2019, that affected crops particularly in Bakel and Podor regions.

To cover domestic demand, the country relies heavily on rice imports, which account for approximately half of the total domestic cereal requirements. On average, the country imports about 2 million tonnes of cereals, including about 1.2 million tonnes of rice and 0.5 million tonnes of wheat. Despite the above‑average 2019 cereal production, import requirements for the 2019/20 marketing year (November/October) are expected to increase at above‑average levels due to the strong demand by local traders aiming at replenishing their stocks.

Prices of cereal showed mixed trends in July, but were generally higher compared to year earlier

Despite the easing of some COVID‑19‑related restrictive measures in June, some markets are still closed, while others are operating at reduced level due to concerns about virus propagation. Prices of millet, after declining in June, showed mixed trends in July, but were overall higher year on year, supported by a strong domestic demand and limited commodity flows amid the pandemic coupled with declining domestic availabilities. Prices of rice were stable in June and July due to the increased supply from the off‑season crops harvested in the Senegal River valley and in Matam District.

Continued assistance still needed for vulnerable people

Despite the overall satisfactory food security situation, pockets of food insecurity remain and food assistance is needed by the most vulnerable population. Prior to the COVID‑19 outbreak, the number of food insecure people was projected to peak at about 766 000 during the lean season between June and August 2020, well above the 341 000 food insecure that were estimated in the same period of 2019. However, the situation is worse than previously expected on account of the impact from the COVID‑19 pandemic, including the containment measures that adversely effected households’ livelihood activities and incomes.