Good crop prospects for the 2016-17 campaign
As part of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA), the regional technical meeting of the for the crisis prevention and management mechanism (PREGEC) was held from 19-21 September 2016, in Lome, Togo. Participants presented the agricultural forecasts and food prospects for the Sahel and West Africa. The agricultural forecast is good; cereal production could be as high as 64-75 million tonnes, an increase of up to 28% compared to the five-year average. The production of roots and tubers could be between 151 and 168 million tonnes, an increase of 3-22% over the five-year average. These good prospects are explained by successful preparations before the season started (including seed supply, fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural equipment), good rainfall and favorable hydrological conditions for off-season crops. However, these positive prospects should not lead authorities to ignore the region’s persistent food security difficulties, especially in conflict zones. According to UNICEF (July 2016), 9.4 million children under five could suffer from global acute malnutrition in Sahelian countries and in 11 states of Nigeria’s North, of which 3.5 million could experience the severe form of malnutrition. In northern Nigeria, about 5.8 million people need immediate food and humanitarian assistance. PREGEC calls for states and their partners to strengthen measures against malnutrition and to take urgent and co-ordinated measures in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. The participants also recommended CILSS to expand exchanges within PREGEC beyond the regional consultations. The next meeting, scheduled for November, will be an opportunity to compile the provisional results of the 2016-17 agro-pastoral campaign, which will be the subject of discussions at the 32nd RPCA annual meeting in Abuja from 12-14 December 2016.