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Late Rains Affect Prospects for Senegal Crops

Late Rains Affect Prospects for Senegal Crops

06 August 2014

SENEGAL - Erratic and insufficient rainfall since the beginning of the rainy season in May/June over most parts of the country have delayed plantings and affected growing crops.

Satellite imagery analysis indicates low Vegetation Health Index in much of Senegal’s groundnut basin and in the northern and Casamance agro-ecological zones.

Due to the earlier drier conditions, adequate rainfall in August will be critical for regeneration and development of crops.

Last year’s aggregate cereal production was also well below average, estimated at some 1.3 million tonnes (about 15 percent and 20 percent lower than in 2012 and the average of the previous five years). Production of millet, the most important staple crop, dropped by 22 percent compared to 2012.

Cereal prices remain stable

In spite of the reduced crop gathered in 2013, coarse grains prices have been mostly stable since January 2014.

Adequate availability at regional level contributes to price stability in Senegal. Similarly, prices of imported rice, one of the most widely consumed cereals in the country, have remained relatively unchanged over the last two years.

Rice prices increased steeply in the country from December 2011, but Government intervention in the form of price control has kept prices stable since April 2012.

Senegal still relies heavily on rice imports from the international market to meet its food requirements. Domestic production covers only about half of the country’s cereal utilization requirements, so its rice imports amount to an average of about 900 000 tonnes per annum.

TheCropSite News Desk

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